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by Tim Beissmann

Volkswagen Australia has today launched the 2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI, a brand new hot hatch that could very well be Australia’s best baby racer.

The numbers alone are quite special. Maximum power output from the 1.4-litre twin-charged direct-injection engine is 132kW – a staggering 55kW more than the next most powerful petrol engine in the Polo range.

Torque peaks at 250Nm – just 30Nm shy of its bigger brother, the Golf GTI.

And with a total weight of just 1189kg, the Polo GTI accelerates from 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds – exactly the same as the Golf GTI.

Despite the performance, the Polo GTI uses only 6.1 litres/100km of Premium Unleaded on the combined cycle, and emits CO2 at an average rate of 142g/km.

Putting this in perspective, the old Polo GTI, which was powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, consumed 8.0 litres/100km and emitted 190g/km CO2, making the 2011 model 24 percent more efficient.

The standard seven-speed DSG transmission drives the front wheels and an extended electronic differential lock is fitted to reduce the vehicle’s tendency to understeer and improve handling in the bends.

The hot Polo scores the standard GTI kit, including sports seats and 17in five-spoke circular-patterned alloy wheels, and becomes the first Polo to offer optional bi-xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights.

Like all models in the Polo range, the GTI is equipped with ESP, Hill Start Assist and six airbags in what is a safe little package.

The new 2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI is available now from $27,790 for the three-door model and $28,990 for the five-door.




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