VW Polo GTI Review - Carshop Drive 10

  Carshop.co.za

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 23 Jun, 2015



VW Polo GTI Video Review

Watch the video

A few years ago 141kW would've been plenty of power for the Golf GTi, never mind a car the size of the Polo! Can it trip up the class favourite Ford Fiesta ST or Renault Clio RS? We take a closer look.

Not so long ago, the Golf 5 GTi debuted with 147kW, and now, in its seventh iteration it develops 162kW (169kW if you spec the Performance Pack).

Not a huge gain in roughly ten years since the five's introduction, but then Volkswagen has never chased pure performance glory. The GTi has always been about more than that.

The Polo you see here develops 141kW (9kW increase) and 250Nm from its newly developed 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. Interestingly it wears the same engine number as its older GTi brother – EA888 – displacing 1798cc versus the Golfs 1984cc.

Initially only available with the groups seven-speed automatic DSG transmission with a six-speed manual to be introduced later in 2015. Good news for three-pedal enthusiasts, because you'll get an extra 70Nm of toque too. 320Nm to be precise.

Volkswagen is quick to point out that the extra torque won't affect performance. True if you're your talking straight 0-100km/h times – which by the way the Polo GTi smashes in 6.7 seconds – however, in day-to-day conditions that torque is sure to make a difference, especially for those living at altitude.

Understated is the name of the game

The Polo GTi has had a small makeover in 2015 with a subtly redesigned front bumper. Characteristic GTi signature design elements such as the red pin striping – which now extends into the headlight clusters – and honeycomb grille with the prominent GTi badge, clearly distinguish this hot GTi from lesser models in the range.

Flared wheel arches housing new 17-inch ‘Parabolicca' alloys wrapped in a wider 215/40 section rubber, extended side sills and a 10mm/15mm front/rear drop in ride height hint at the GTi's road hugging potential.

While around the back you'll find the requisite GTi badge, subtle black roof spoiler and chromed dual exhaust tips.

In crisp ‘Pure White' paintwork and the above-mentioned add-ons, the Polo GTi has a quiet air of sophistication, and while some enthusiasts might prefer a more in-your-face presence, I reckon the balance is spot-on.

Now Read >> New VW Polo GTi Review - DSG


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