Is Volkswagen on the save the manuals team? We obviously can’t speak for the automaker, but a recent commercial for its cool Jetta GLI makes light of the manny tranny as not just a gearbox for those who enjoy being more involved behind the wheel, but also as an anti-theft device. Seriously? Yup, and in this particular car it’s connected to a throaty V8 instead of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder you’d find with any other new GLI. Really, just watch (and listen) to this video and tell us you don’t hear a V8.
Ridiculously fake engine sound notwithstanding, VW isn’t out-of-line with this clever commercial. With so few vehicles now offering a clutch-operated manual transmission these days, fewer people know how to operate one. That includes misguided youngsters who fancy themselves as brazen car thieves, and we’ve all seen news stories in recent years about said car boosters getting foiled by the ol’ three-pedal anti-theft system. That’s why the driver portrayed in this video doesn’t lock the car, but don’t do that in real life because thieves are dumb and will still try to nick your ride anyway. That’s probably why VW also injected similar fine print into the end of the clip.
Gallery: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
As for that V8 engine, dubbing fake engine sounds into commercials is nothing new but this offense is rather silly. Maybe that was the point, but with the VeeDub’s boosted 2.0-liter already being a lively, impressive mill, why not give us a matching aural experience to accompany the on-screen action? Yes, we’re being picky, but that’s our job. Also, we hate it when automakers try to fake something so obvious as an engine sound.
In any case, the Jetta GLI is a cool little sports sedan that lets you row your own gears. That by itself is a rarity these days, and hey, one day that feature could save you from something unfortunate.
Source: Volkswagen USA via YouTube