The current-generation Polo GTI, which went on sale in Australia in November 2010, has only ever been offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. However, Autocar claims the facelifted Polo pocket rocket will see the addition of a six-speed manual gearbox which could prove a key addition for enthusiasts.
By offering the car with a manual transmission it is expected that Volkswagen could cut up to $2500 from the price of the Polo GTI, which currently starts at $27,990 plus on-road costs for the three-door base model. If that were the case, the updated Polo GTI could undercut the impressive Ford Fiesta ST, which currently sets the price benchmark among its turbo hot hatch rivals at $25,990 plus on-road costs.
Other changes to the Polo GTI include a power increase from 132kW to 141kW, although it remains unclear as to whether the car will continue to be powered by the current 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged engine, as some reports suggest the new version will gain an updated 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo engine instead.
The original Polo GTI launched in 2006 with a 1.8-litre turbo and manual transmission, and enthusiasts have been crying out for a more pure driving experience since the new twin-charged, DSG-equipped model was introduced.
The updated Polo range will go on sale in Australia later in 2014, while the GTI is expected to arrive in 2015.