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Pocket rocket Polo GTI shown

2010-02-18 08:09
With power sourced from a potent little 1.4 TSI, VW says this is its “most focused” hot Polo yet. Expect the new GTI to cut a rug.

A hotly anticipated addition to the small hatchback range, Polo GTI gets ready to pop at the Geneva show in March.

At its heart is a version of the twincharged 1.4-litre TSI engine used to great effect in the Golf 6 range. Using a supercharger to pull from idle through 3 000 r/min before a turbocharger kicks in to provide the requisite boost, this powerplant generates 134 kW and 249 Nm of torque at 6 200 and 2 000 r/min, respectively.

Mated to a seven-speed DSG ‘box driving the front wheels, this allows the Polo GTI to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds before topping out at 229 km/h. Since Volkswagen reckons this Polo will slurp a mere 6.7 l/100 km, prospective owners should also be spared some undue pressure at the fuel pumps…

Dynamically, the Polo GTI is fitted with an XDS differential (essentially an extension of the electronic limited slip forming part of the standard ESP system) for better traction and sharper handling.

Furthermore, the littlest GTI boasts new springs and dampers dropping the ride height by 15 mm over the “regular” Polo.

Other changes from the rest of the Polo gang include a different front bumper and a grille with signature horizontal red stripes and GTI badging. New headlight clusters get optional LEDs too…

Changes at the rear are subtle, with a new bumper plus diffuser, twin chrome-tipped tailpipes and a simple GTI badge on the rump offering an indication to this model’s increased firepower.

Finishing off the package is a set of 17-inch alloys mimicking those on big brother Golf GTI. Red brake calipers shine through.

Adjustments to the cabin include new dials, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with gearshift paddles and aluminium pedals. Although Volkswagen has opted to cling to tradition with those unsightly tartan seats, we are happy to report they are (supposedly) now stitched to heavily bolstered sport seats at the front. Nice.

New Polo GTI will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and is expected to arrive in South Africa from the third quarter of this year. 


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