Volkswagen have chosen this year’s Geneva Motor Show to unveil their latest hot hatch, the new Polo GTI. Typically Volkswagen, it’s a subtle alteration to the standard model that increases power, but will it be better to drive than the insipid model it replaces?
The new Polo GTI follows the same formula as before by copying some of the visual features of it’s bigger brother, the Golf GTI, and applying them in smaller form onto the all-new Polo.
Volkswagen Polo GTI Specifications
|Max Speed||142 mph|
|Kerb Weight||1,184 kg|
|Fuel Economy||47 mpg|
|CO2 Emissions||139 g/km|
Power is increased from the old model’s 148bhp thanks to a new 1.4-litre TSI engine that pumps out 178bhp. The new motor is one of Volkswagen’s clever supercharged and turbocharged units, where the supercharger works up to 3,000rpm and then the turbo steps in for a boost further up the rev range.
Combined with the higher power output there is also 184 lbs ft of torque available from just 2,000 rpm which, when combined with an 1,184 kg kerbweight, allows the Polo GTI to accelerate from rest to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds before reaching a top speed of 142 mph. Pretty good performance figures, but the new Polo GTI is also capable of delivering 47 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting just 139 g/km of CO2.
Volkswagen’s latest seven-speed DSG gearbox is available as an option on the Polo GTI. It’s also fitted with the XDS differential, the same electronic traction control system that’s been used on several new Seats recently. The XDS system works alongside the electronic limited slip differential (EDL) and standard ESP system to improve traction and handling.
Handling is further improved with a new set of springs and dampers that have the added benefit of dropping the ride height by 15 mm. It’s not exactly slammed, but at least it sits lower than standard models.
The Polo picks up the GTI elements in its new front bumper, with a honeycombe grille with horizontal red strips and that essential GTI badge. Larger airdams make it easier to spot the GTI, and the new headlight units finish off the front nicely, with a new option being the inclusion of LED running lights.
There are some subtle sill extensions on the sides, while around the back you’ll find a new rear bumper and diffuser and a nice pair of chrome-tipped exhausts. As on the Golf the model name is replaced by a ‘GTI’ badge.
Completing the mini-Golf GTI look are a set of identical 17-inch alloy wheels, behind which are bright red brake callipers.
Changes on the inside are much the same as before, with a flat-bottomed GTI steering wheel complete with small gearshift paddles and contrasting red stitching. The new front sports seats are finished in GTI-spec tartan trim. A subtle gloss black trim covers the centre console while the headlining is now finished in black, and on the floor there is a set of aluminium pedals.
Expect to see the new Polo GTI in showrooms this summer, at which point pricing and full specifications will be released.