Update: Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
There are a select few cars which we hold in high regard, but the GTI badge on Volkswagen vehicles has always been a consistent sign of “this is going to be fun” and we expect no less from the new Volkswagen Polo GTI which has just been unveiled.
Having started life back in 1986, the Polo GTI has come a long way from having just 83kW from its tiny supercharged engine. Some 24 years later and the new generation Polo GTI, expected to go on sale in Australia in the second half of this year, is powered by a 135kW 1.4-litre twin charged TSI engine.
Yes, that’s 135kW for a car which has a kerbweight of just 1,184 kg! The beauty of the new Polo GTI is that not only does it have a supercharger, which boosts the car from idle through to 3,000 rpm, but it also has a turbocharger which kicks it at 3,000rpm to provide even more boost.
135kW and an even more impressive 250Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm sounds rather crazy for a tiny car, which is probably why we can’t wait to drive it. Put all those figures together and you’ll find yourself in a true hot-hatch which can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds, with a topspeed of almost 230km/h.
Although this is the sport version of the Polo range and those looking for extreme fuel economy are best to look at other variants, the GTI still delivers the goods when it comes to fuel figures by using just 5.0L/100km and emitting and even more impressive 139 g/km of CO2.
The supercharged and turbocharged little engine is mated to a compact seven-speed, twin-clutch DSG transmission that pushes the power out via the front-wheels. Given the size of the Polo GTI and previous models, it will no doubt handle beautifully.
To really kick some more butt in the handling department the new 2011 Polo GTI comes standard with an XDS differential, an electronic cross-axle traction control system which is an extension of the electronic limited slip differential (EDL) which itself is a part of the standard ESP system.
The Polo GTI sits 15 mm lower than other Polo variants thanks to its new springs and dampers and it wouldn’t be a GTI if it didn’t look the part. Aesthetic changes include a new front bumper with a deep airdam joined by a honeycombe grille element with horizontal red strips and a simple GTI badge. An entirely new headlight structure able to support optional LED running lights finish the front.
For the rear a whole new bumper features a small diffuser and a pair of chrome-tipped exhausts. There is no mention of the word Polo either, instead all you’ll see is a simple ‘GTI’ badge. To top it all off, the Golf GTI’s 17-inch alloy wheels come standard and sit above a set of red brake callipers.
From the inside the regular GTI changes are still apparent with revised dials, a Lamborghini-style flat-bottomed GTI steering wheel attached to gearshift paddles and contrasting red stitching plus aluminium pedals. The GTI also makes do with new bolstered front sports seats finished in tartan trim.
To make it even more sporty subtle gloss black trim covers the centre console while the headlining is now finished in black.
Volkswagen Australia spokeswoman Jenny Wu told CarAdvice the new Volkswagen Polo range will be here in May with the GTI expected to arrive in the second half of this year.