The 2014 VW Jetta may not be the first vehicle you think of when you think of the 2013 SEMA Show, but Volkswagen’s product manager for accessories, Robert Gal, reminds us that the automaker “has a long, rich history with enthusiasts who have tuned models such as the Jetta, Golf and GTI, and Beetle for several decades in the United States.”
And it's that track record of tunability—combined with a pair of new 4-cylinder, turbocharged engines—that share the spotlight during SEMA's current aftermarket extravaganza in Las Vegas. Consider the 2014 VW Jetta that's been transformed into a "Racer's Dream in Black and White" by FMS Automotive. As a starting point, the FMS Jetta takes Volkswagen's engine-upgrade program well beyond the next level with a massive infusion of horsepower: The production Jetta enjoys a 10-hp power-bump right out of the box when it's configured with VW's upgraded 2.0-liter turbo, which now delivers both 210 horses and better fuel-economy than the engine it replaces. The FMS Jetta packs more than twice that number of ponies, thanks to an APR Stage 3+ Turbo Kit that's further complemented by a carbon-fiber cold-air intake system, as well as performance pistons, rods and wristpins, all also from APR.
FMS further fine-tuned the 2014 VW Jetta with features like:
- H&R's "Street" coil-over suspension and "Sport" anti-roll bars
- 19-inch chrome-lipped wheels by TSW Jerez
- Nitto NT-05 Z-rated tires
- Brembo brake components, including four-piston calipers and cross-drilled rotors
- Custom wide-body mods, highlighted by the premiere of FMS' latest line of body-side moldings
- A black-and-white exterior color scheme, with a matte Candy White finish from Axalta Coatings and gloss-black accents
- Cabin highlights such as Recaro front seats, with rear seats and other cabin accents re-upholstered by FMS in a matching fabric, and VW's RNS 115 navigation and premium audio system
Joining the FMS 2014 VW Jetta in Volkswagen's SEMA display are ...
Shining a Light on the 2014 VW Jetta GLI Helios Tribute
Paying homage to the rare 1989 VW Jetta Helios that was limited to just 1,500 units is another 2014 VW Jetta from the FMS team. This one showcases the new 1.8-liter turbo that will be offered in production cars like the 2014 VW Jetta SE, among others, offering a peppy 170 hp and a thrifty 36 mpg highway. In fact, that engine is so well suited to the new Jetta Helios edition that FMS left well enough alone under the hood, albeit while adding a performance exhaust at the back end. As for the hood itself, as well as the rest of the exterior, FMS went with the same blue/black appearance as the original, enhanced by a VW Accessories body kit, FMS body-side moldings, and a SEMA-ready wheel-and-tire setup.
In the case of the 2014 VW Jetta Helios Edition, that means Nitto Invo 235/35 ZR-rated tires and 19-inch wheels with a ceramic gunmetal gray finish, the latter sourced from VW Motorsports.
The front seats are, naturally, from Recaro, but they also honor the 1989 Helios Jetta through their blue, black and gray striping, with the same palette also used throughout the 2014 version's cabin. Brushed-aluminum pedal caps and aluminum door sills, along with the same high-tech infotainment system offered in the 2014 VW Jetta premium models, help fill out the cabin enhancements.
H&R's 2015 VW Golf Springs into Action
The brand-new 2015 VW Golf isn't slated to reach U.S. dealerships until next year, but the handling experts at H&R got their hands on one early and brought it to SEMA with a full-on suspension upgrade. The centerpiece of the build is an H&R Street Performance coil-over suspension, which lowers the car for a "perfect European stance," according to H&R. The company's 26-mm anti-sway bars are then deployed at both the front and rear for sharpened reflexes, backed up by a Brembo GT braking kit. The lightweight but highly effective stoppers also provide the opportunity for some further flash, courtesy of an eye-catching silver ceramic finish for the discs' aluminum bells—but while maintaining what H&R calls "the notoriously nuanced feel that Brembo brake systems are known for."
Those stoppers will peek out from behind Rotiform's three-piece forged wheels, boasting a custom-brushed finish, matte-tinted clear centers, and brushed low-gloss clear lips, and capped off by Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Finally, like many of the world's top tuners, H&R turned to Volkswagen's in-house accessories team for style touches like a VW body kit, a hatch-top spoiler, and a revised rear valence with a center exit for the car's dual-exhaust muffler.
(Note: The H&R 2015 VW Golf will be shown at the suspension company's exhibit at SEMA.)