• Mar 2, 2010
Volkswagen Polo GTI – Click above for high-res image gallery

When we drove the Volkswagen Polo in Deutschland last year, a few execs mentioned that the automaker was actively considering importing the subcompact hatch into the States. If they ever get up the gusto, the Polo GTI needs to make the trek as well.

Drawing a clearer line to the GTI's of yore than it's biggie-sized brother, the Polo GTI embodies everything we loved about the Mk1: a small footprint, supreme usability and a miserly mill packing a potent punch. In this newest iteration, said punch is provided by a 178-horsepower turbo- and supercharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder putting out an incredibly healthy 184 pound-feet of torque. Those figures aren't too far away from what our beloved GTI produces, and the Polo comes in a few hundred pounds lighter and doesn't skimp on the good bits (top notch interior and the XDS differential).

The GTI is set to go on sale in Europe this summer with a sticker of around £18,000. We figure if we ask nicely (and VW begins building the Polo in North America), we might get a crack at it in the U.S. Then again, we've been asking nicely for the Scirocco for over two years...



Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
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FAST, CLEAN AND SHARPER THAN EVER: NEW POLO GTI UNVEILED

The new Polo GTI has been unveiled, promising to be the fastest, most focussed and cleanest performance Polo yet produced.

The original performance variant of the Polo was unveiled in 1986 in the form of the G40 Coupé - a car that mixed a fast-revving, 113 PS, supercharged engine with a low kerbweight and sharpened responses.

Fast forward 24 years and the new Polo GTI bears similarities with the G40. At its heart is a 1.4-litre TSI engine that uses a supercharger from idle through to 3,000 rpm at which point the turbocharger cuts in to provide boost. The result is an output of 180 PS at 6,200 rpm and 184 lbs ft of torque from 2,000 rpm which, when aligned with a 1,184 kg kerbweight, allows the Polo GTI to accelerate from rest to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds before reaching a top speed of 142 mph.

Despite a keen focus on performance, the new Polo GTI is capable of delivering 47 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting just 139 g/km of CO2.

The TSI engine is linked to a compact seven-speed, twin-clutch DSG gearbox that channels drive through the front axle. In addition, the Polo GTI is fitted with the XDS differential, an electronic cross-axle traction control system for improved traction and handling. The XDS system is a functional extension of the electronic limited slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESP system.

In order to sharpen responses, the Polo GTI is fitted with new springs and dampers which results in a 15 mm lower ride height than the conventional Polo.

Like its Golf GTI sibling, the Polo GTI features significant aesthetic changes. A new front bumper featuring a deep airdam is joined by a honeycombe grille element with horizontal red strips and a simple GTI badge. New headlight units complete with the option of LED running lights lend the Polo GTI an imposing new look.

Further back, a subtle sill extension wraps around the lower edge of the body while at the back a new rear bumper features a small diffuser and a pair of chrome-tipped exhausts. The Polo badge is replaced by a simple 'GTI' version.

Finally, a set of 17-inch wheels identical to those fitted to the Golf GTI are fitted along with a set of red brake callipers.

The changes continue inside the Polo GTI with revised dials, a new, flat-bottomed GTI steering wheel complete with small gearshift paddles and contrasting red stitching, aluminium pedals and new, heavily bolstered front sports seats finished in tartan trim. Subtle gloss black trim covers the centre console while the headlining is now finished in black.

The new Polo GTI is due to arrive in the UK in the summer at which point pricing and specification will be announced.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lose the nav and plaid seats and I'll take it in white.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ruh roe, hate to burst your bubble but the other option also has a delightful, bright legible screen with almost as few buttons (6 vs 8). Oh Noez!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @IdreamAudi:

        Wait, your mom has an autoblog account?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @iDreamAudi:

        Its what I've been saying all along about nav screens. "Can't move from car to car, overpriced, etc." I'm glad someone finally got through to you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @zam

        Alright, tell me where i can get a premium luxury/sports car with cloth seats 400+ horsepower, radio/cd only, non-hybrid, no nav, no power windows, no heated seats, no power seats or locks, super quiet ride, comfortable cruiser for the same price as the A8?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know other things that are stupid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @naggs

        Smart naggs, very smart. I'm with ya.
        • 4 Years Ago
        that might not be nav. it could be VW's upgraded stereo, they still have the basic ones, which look very cheap. but this and the one with navigation look exactly the same.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @naggs,
        good point. Although the factory navs are nice for the first few years, most don't age well. Although I still like the 03 Lexus GX nav screen. It like On Star, they went from analog to digital and phased out all previous on star versions. With a $50 unit you're not out the increased $2k option, and its usable in any car. I have been enlightened.
        I tip my hat to you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mom jokes really?
        If she did have an autoblog account, she'd be the coolest mom ever.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @zam:

        I read another comment on an earlier post about some guy that wanted a top of the line Ford Fusion for the performance and pretty much everything except nav and sync. He already had magellan and didn't want SYNC. They didn't have it. He would have to get nav and SYNC because it was "top of the line". That's stupid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      At last the Polo grows a pair!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Turbo-Supercharged? say what?
        • 4 Years Ago
        complexity > reliability
        • 4 Years Ago
        i looked into it. thats a pretty complicated system. hope it works.
        • 4 Years Ago
        These geniuses could make that engine even better if they super-turbocharged a Wankel instead. And what the heck, throw on a CVT. It'll be the bestest drivetrain ever.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The turbo/super charger setup has been in use outside of the US market for a few years now. Seems like the best of both worlds if you want to get the most out of a little engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i wouldn't touch that twin charger garbage with a 10 foot poll let alone own one

        i will take a tiny mpg hit and go with sc only

        or

        take a tiny hit on responsiveness and go turbo only

        both is stupid
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's it weigh?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's 2,609 pounds. Should be a blast.
        • 4 Years Ago
        200 kilos to heavy in my opinion. 180 hp is not enough for that weight.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You guys sure chose a weird forum to argue over the metric system.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i worked with a french guy who referred to the english system of measurement as "barbarian units", cracked me up!
        • 4 Years Ago
        For people who live in the 21st century, that's 1183kg.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's hard to tell, but it looks really tall in these pics when compared to the people in the background. I do like it better than the Golf GTI though, those things have gotten huge.
        • 4 Years Ago
        WANT!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        joanna, dont be ignorant

        there is nothing "old" about using lbs, especially considering the fact that this is a US auto news site
        • 4 Years Ago
        1,183,422.493 grams

        or 186 stone :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        "there is nothing "old" about using lbs, especially considering the fact that this is a US auto news site"

        Pounds have been used as a unit of measurement since the 14th century ... nothing old about that whatsoever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've seen the old gen in South America and it looks really great. This new one is going to be incredibly awesome. I really like the new design of VW's Golf and Polo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I sat in the "regular" Polo at the DC Auto Show, and I liked it a lot more than I ever expected. This little car is GOOD. I love smaller cars, and I am a VW driver, but if VAG can't bring this and/or the A1(which is REALLY starting to grow on me) here, I don't think that they can sell me anything else that I have seen from the upcoming model ranges.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ritz Looks modern from inside & from front.Very good control over the car at high speeds .It satisfied all my expectation..Airy interior.Weight of the car & wide tyres does offer a planted feel at any speed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like this too. It looks a little pissed off (as do all Volkswagens with this new face), but it is indeed smaller than the current Golf GTI. I have a MkIV GTI (yeah, the fat one) and this would make a nice replacement.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Me likey. Me wanty. Yummy.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Here's how vwusa should play this. There compact model card should read:

      The Golf - all of your basic transportation needs, in classic German Flavor.
      The [Polo] GTi - Back to the roots of the original hot hatch, now Polo sized. They look the same, who's gonna know?
      The Scirrocco - A premium hot hatch, in 2.0T and r20 guises. A little extra hotness couldn't hurt sales, right?
      • 4 Years Ago
      $27,000?

      Ouch.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the Polo GTI cost 24,000Euro incl 19% tax in Germany... means the US price would be around $20-21,000 incl 7 speed dry DSG, XDS, 17", sport suspension
      • 4 Years Ago
      This brings a ton more power but doesn't bring the lightness of the MKI. Heck, the engine alone is piled with ridiculous amounts of geegaws. This is ridiculous hyperbole.

      There's no such thing as an "XDS differential". XDS is a system, like anti-lock brakes or stability control. The differential is a regular differential.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1

        still way to heavy to be a real GTI
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