Volkswagen is the promise of a sharper and more agile driving experience from the new 197bhp and 147mph Polo GTI, compared to the more mature driving manners of the Golf GTI.
“The Polo GTi is shorter, lighter and better to drive,” said Volkswagen’s small car line director, Ralf Kölling. “The Golf is geared more towards the motorway, the Polo GTI is more agile than a good drive. The shorter wheelbase than the Golf vi gives the Polo that extra feeling of agility.”
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Kölling and his team have worked on the Polo GTI for three-and-a-half years, helped by the green light from Volkswagen high-ups just six months after work began on the latest Polo.
“We decided from the very beginning of the project that we wanted a GTI version of the Polo and that has helped with space under the hood for the larger engine,” he said Kölling.
Power for the new Polo GTI comes from a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with a peak power of 197bhp and 236lb ft. The previous Polo GTI made 190bhp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine.
Peak torque is developed with a flat curve between 1500rpm and 6000rpm, and is intended to provide a solid increase in performance in the mid-range.
A six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission will be standard at launch, with a manual six-speed gearbox becoming an option in 2018.
“It was a really difficult decision between the DSG and manual, but the market is deciding, and performance models are trending to DSG,” he said Kölling.
The top speed is a claimed 147mph and 0-62mph in 6.7 sec – very similar to the previous generation Polo GTI. Larger brake rotors — 312mm diameter front and 270 mm at the rear — increase the braking power compared to the standard Polo.
The basis for the new Polo GTi is much more rigid five-door body based on VW’s ubiquitous MQB platform and with a torsional stiffness of 18k NM/deg. The old Pole rated 14k NM/deg, 28 percent less.
The Polo GTi also features electro-mechanical steering and differential lock XDS, which uses the traction control system to limit wheel spin.
Other chassis refinements, the standard, sports suspension with a 15mm reduced ride height, stiffer solid front and rear anti-roll bar 21mm in diameter and the springs and shock absorbers.
The front spring rates are 31% more rigid and the rear wheels 24% higher, while the shock absorbers are equipped with two selectable settings – Normal and Sport — under the Volkswagen Sport choose the banner.
Volkswagen UK is still completing the final spec of his Polo GTIs before December-the date of the sale, then it is not clear yet if the Sports Select an option or standard. But previous experience with other models, like the Golf GTI, suggests that it will be a cost option.
Similarly, the UNITED kingdom, the car should have 17in alloys with tyres 215/45, as standard, with 18ins wheels with 215/40ZR Michelin Pilot tyres (on our pictured car) as an option.
Prices have yet to be announced, but are likely to be below £20,000 and competitive with the new Ford Fiesta ST, which will go on sale in early 2018.
Some Polo GTI options are likely to be bundled in a Performance Pack.
The first Polo GTI deliveries are expected to be in May 2018.
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