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by Matt Brogan

Update: 2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI

UK buyers will be among the first to receive the new Volkswagen Polo GTI, a car VW promises to be “the fastest, most focused and cleanest performance Polo yet produced”.

The first performance variant of the Volkswagen Polo was unveiled back in 1986 as the G40 Coupé – a car that matched a high-revving mixed a fast-revving, 83kW supercharged engine with lightweight body and sharpened responses.

Today the recipe is much the same, with the new Volkswagen Polo GTI bearing many similarities to the G40. Under the bonnet a 1.4-litre TSI twin-charged engine uses a supercharged from idle to 3,000rpm at which point the turbocharger takes over. The net result is 132kW of power at 6,200rpm and 249Nm of torque from just 2,000rpm.

The Volkswagen Polo GTI weighs in at a mere 1,184kg meaning 0-100km/h times of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 229km/h.

Even with such keen performance figures, the new Volkswagen Polo GTI still delivers fuel economy returns of 5.0L/100km (combined) and a CO2 emissions figure of just 139g/km.

The sporty engine is mated to a compact seven-speed DSG (twin clutch) transmission that in turn drives the front wheels. The new Polo GTI is also fitted with Volkswagen’s XDS electronic cross-axle traction control differential system – as found on the Volkswagen Golf GTI – for improved traction and handling. ESC is also standard.

Suspension has also been revised above the specification of the standard Polo with new springs and dampers to achieve a 15mm reduction in ride height.

The Polo GTI also boasts significant aesthetic changes. A new front bumper featuring a deep lower airdam is joined by a honeycombe grille with horizontal red strips and of course a GTI badge. New headlight units complete, with optional LED running lights, lend the Polo GTI an imposing new look.

In profile, Polo GTI gains subtle sill extension wraps around the lower edge of the body and 17-inch alloy wheels over red brake calipers, while up back, a new rear bumper features a small diffuser and a pair of chrome-tipped exhausts.

Finally, the cabin receives revised instrumentation, flat-bottomed steering GTI steering wheel with gearshift paddles and contrasting red stitching, aluminium pedals and sports seats with tartan trim. The console and headlining are now finished in black.

The new Volkswagen Polo GTI will arrive in the UK mid-2010 at which point pricing and specification will be announced. Other markets, including Australia, will follow shortly thereafter.




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