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Volkswagen Polo GTI Facelift First Drive

 

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Volkswagen Polo GTI Overview

Grand Touring Injection or GTI has served as the Volkswagen performance moniker for over 40 years now, with its first model, the Golf GTI widely credited with starting the ‘hot hatch’ segment. The car’s ensuing success meant that, pretty soon, other VW cars bore the GTI moniker, including the Polo. And that’s where India got its GTI introduction; in November 2016 Volkswagen launched the fifth-generation Polo GTI, imported in the three-door format. And now, with the Polo GTI moving into its sixth-generation MQB platform, we head to Spain to see just how much of a step ahead it is.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Style

To a layman, the GTI will pass of as a regular Polo because the overall body line and stance has been retained. However, there are many differences on the GTI. First of all, you get just 2 doors and the doors themselves are a bit longer now. The front fascia gets an aggressive look with the sharply styled bumper and the extremely well-detailed full LED headlamps which look terrific. The grille also gets a red strip which passes on to the headlamps. There is a lovely GTI badge and the honeycomb design on the grille looks killer. The side profile is neat and clean but you do get sportier 16-inch Salvador wheels. The rear gets dual exhaust pipes along with a black applique on the bumper. The shape of the tail lamps is unchanged but you get a lot more detailing with LED bulbs on the GTI.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Space

The Volkswagen Polo GTI interior has sporty front seats with enlarged bolster and height adjustment, while the rear seats offer a 60:40 fold function. The seat trim covers are finished in fabric ‘Clark’ with GTI signature red colour strips and stitching. There is a sporty flat-bottomed leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with ‘GTI’-inscribed red stitching and paddle shifters. The company engineers have provided a plethora of storage compartments in the hatch in the form of drawers under the front seats, sunglass, coins, card and pen holders inside the glove box, bottle holders in the front doors, map pockets at the back of the front seats, coat hooks at the rear, etc., to mention a few. The front centre console houses a 12 V outlet to charge your smartphone. It gets hill start assist, cooled glove box, start/stop system with generative braking, cruise control, climatronic air conditioning system and luggage compartment lighting. A music system with 6 speakers, and Aux-in, USB and Bluetooth connectivity is a standard feature on the hatch.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Performance

The 1.8-litre TSI unit in this car debuted in the Skoda Laura TSI and currently resides in the Octavia and Superb. In the GTI, however, it makes 12PS more and is a complete thriller! 192PS between 5,400rpm-6,200rpm and 250Nm of max torque between 1,250-5,300rpm are very impressive figures, but that’s just one side of the coin. It’s the way that power is delivered that makes this engine one of our favourites.

The power delivery is very crisp and linear. The tacho needle races to the redline, and there is no sudden surge as the boost kicks in. You expect to be shoved hard into the seat when you stamp on the accelerator pedal, but instead the car sprints ahead smoothly and keeps gathering pace at a very high rate. In fact, you have to be a bit cautious because the manner in which the car gathers pace is alarmingly deceptive. The speedo rises quickly in response to throttle inputs, and before you know it you are well past legal speeds. This is a seriously fast car, Vbox recorded 0-100kmph time of just 6.71 seconds, kind of fast! Volkswagen claims a top speed of 235kmph, and I’m confident this car will quite easily show that on the clocks.

Internationally, the car comes with the option of a 6-speed manual transmission and a 7-speed DSG. In India, however, we get the automatic transmission, and we aren’t complaining – the gearbox is an absolute gem. Shifts are precise and arrive just when you want them. Transitions through the gears are seamless, and you don’t feel any jerks during upshifts or downshifts. Select Sports mode and the shift points are moved to the redline. The gearbox is so good in this mode that the engine is never out of the meat of its powerband. For more info on Volkswagen Polo GT visit Midasedu

Shift to D and the motor calms down. The gearbox shifts still quickly and smoothly, but engine revs won’t get very high. But then again, this is the GTI, so response to throttle inputs are quick, even in this mode. Paddle shifts are standard, further boosting the involvement on a winding road.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Driving

The Volkswagen GTI has a precise steering but I would have liked the feedback to be slightly better. It is very precise though. The car stays planted at high speeds on straights but on roads with some uneven surfaces, there is a tad loss in composure. The suspension is also stiffly set which makes sure you get better body control while the ride quality gets affected slightly. However, the ride isn’t bad at all and the GTI still feels comfortable. Braking power is sharp thanks to the all 4 discs while the grip from the 215/45/16 tyres is also very good.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Safety

Volkswagen Polo GTI features disc brakes at the front as well as rear, of which calipers are painted in a bright red paint scheme. It gets an array of high-end safety systems, such as ESC, ABS, ASR, EDL and EDTC. The company is offering 6 airbags as standard equipment in the hatch. There are 3-point seat belts at the front with height adjustment and pretensioner. The rear seats have height adjustable L-shaped head restraints and 3-point seat belts. In addition, a park distance control feature is also available, which provides the driver an acoustic warning signal for obstacles at the front and rear.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Costin Chennai

Volkswagen Polo GT On Road Price is 10,97,517/- and Ex-showroom Price is 9,58,000/- in Chennai. Volkswagen Polo GT comes in 5 colours, namely Flash Red,Reflex Silver,Copper Orange,Carbon Steel,Candy White. Volkswagen Polo GT comes with FWD with 1197 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 104 bhp@5000 rpm and Peak Torque 175 Nm@1500-4100 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Volkswagen Polo GT comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .View offers on Polo GT at Autozhop.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Conclusion

Actually, the question is ‘Will you be able to buy one?’ VW India is in a conundrum about launching the car here. The new GTI certainly has enough to justify a premium, compared to the current one, and it’s safe to say that it will certainly enjoy more attention. But with the Polo (and the GTI) now based on the new MQB platform, the question is: Do they import it, which would mean a high price, or delay the launch until the local MQB platform (MQB A0-IN) is developed? To maintain the continuity of the brand, VW could do both – begin with an import and then move to local assembly later.

So, if and when the Polo GTI does make it here, assuming it’s sensibly priced or you have really deep pockets, should you look at it? Yes, this is a hot hatch that deserves serious consideration. While it may look all too familiar, the interior is a step ahead of the previous one, it drives fast, the gearbox is super-quick and the handling is fun enough. This isn’t to say it’s a thrill-your- pants-off kind of ride; it’s actually quite rounded off to serve as a daily driver and the ample interior space, comfortable seats and decent equipment list will be a further draw.

So as things stand, the new Polo GTI’s got a lot going for it. VW just has to make sure it gets the pricing right, and, going by the brisk sales of the reduced price GTI, there’s a handy marker for that.

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