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Polo GTI R canned, Jetta R is go

2010-05-25 07:11

The new GTI's 134kW is about as hot as the Polo range is going to get.

Despite rumour mongering there will be no Polo GTI R. Chief engineer of the current Polo, Dr Ernst Linder had finally made a statement on the matter.

"I would say there have been some ideas about Polo R, but more in the press than the company itself because we have our GTI and within our company Audi has an S," Linder said.

Clashing markets

The Polo GTI, which is due locally in the third quarter, is powered by a 134kW version of the award winning twin-charged 1.4 TSI engine.

With Audi’s S1 (the hatchback, not a new rally car) confirmed to use the same engine as Polo GTI it would make little sense to develop an even quicker ‘R’ specification Polo GTI.

An effective increase in output for the Polo GTI in 'R' trim would require the acquisition of rather expensive all-wheel drive technology, a salient engineering characteristic of the new range of VW ‘R’ cars. The Audi brand's fabled all-wheel drive hardware will be controversially absent on the S1 - the first 'S' affixed Audi to ever be front-wheel drive.

Endangering VW's other GTI

An even hotter Polo GTI could risk cannibalising both Golf GTI and Audi S1 sales. "From the technical point of view, of course we can do something," according to Linder.

"From the financial point of view it doesn’t make so much sense. It would be too expensive and we have the S1. The S1 will have 182 horsepower and it’s a very sporty car. If we put much more power in the Polo, we need something like four-wheel-drive. This is a technical feature that is very expensive."

Linder has also admitted the 1.4 TSI engine is running very near to peak usable power, with the current design only offering between 7- and 15kW more latent power extraction capability over the Polo GTI’s 134kW output.

VW’s new in-house tuning arm, R GmbH, will be offering a Jetta R in the near future and is currently working on a successor to the Touareg R50 based on the SUV's new chassis.


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