This is Volkswagen’s new Polo GTI, styled to look like a small Golf GTI and offering 177bhp from its 1.4-litre Twincharger engine plus the lowest kerb weight in its class.

The new car uses a drivetrain similar to the one employed by the Seat Ibiza Cupra. The same combination of engine and gearbox will also be used in the Audi A1 and forthcoming Skoda Fabia vRS.

See Autocar's exclusive VW Polo GTI pics

In the Polo, the engine’s 177bhp is produced at 6200rpm, with 184lb ft of torque available from 2000rpm. With a kerb weight of 1184kg, the Polo will reach 62mph in 6.9sec, and go on to hit a top speed of 141mph. The transmission is a seven-speed DSG, with an electronic differential on the front axle.

The GTI’s suspension is 15mm lower all round than that of the standard Polo, and it gets its own springs and dampers.

The styling echoes that of the bigger Golf GTI. The Polo’s nose features the same honeycomb grille and red trim, the standard 17-inch alloys are identical in design, and the Polo also gets the Golf’s checked seat cloth and flat-bottomed wheel.

Expect the Polo GTI to cost around £18,000 for the three-door variant; a five-door model will also be available. It goes on sale in August.

Dan Stevens

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