Hot Polo gets styling to match the Golf GTI's; 177bhp from its 1.4-litre engine; exclusive pics
2 March 2010

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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29

23 February 2010

DSG is all very well, but it ain't a hot hatch without a manual. Though I'd want a manual in a Rolls-Royce Phantom, but that's just me. Lots of people will be put off by the lack of manual gearboxes - and it's not as though they don't have the gearboxes for the job. And I still maintain that it looks like a bloody training shoe. Is that deliberate? Is it a good thing? In spite of my youth (late teens), I know less about yoof culture than your average grandfather...

23 February 2010

Was this not covered in last weeks story?

23 February 2010

The newly found niche subtlety makes the Polo GTI the tasteful alternative to the tastefully lairy Golf, and with the continual expansion of cars' dimensions, it could be said that the Polo has accidentally become the successor to the original Golf GTIs.

[quote Rover P6 3500S]Lots of people will be put off by the lack of manual gearboxes...[/quote]

I notice the article says the car will come with DSG. I assume that means there is no manual option anymore. If that's the case, this will obviously become the policy across the entire model range.

Is the manual gearbox dead?

While DSGs and their like may well be the best solution for replacing automatics, I wonder if it'll soon become more of a manufacturing issue that will mean manual gearboxes are no longer offered on certain models.

In absolute terms of raw materials and the obligation on the driver to do some of the work, each manual installation must be less of a drain on resources. The gain in performance will be the attraction to customers, and hence, car companies like VW will find it more profitable to trim production to one type of unit.

If manual gearboxes ever become extinct, it won't necessarily mean they are a bad overall solution, it could simply mean that all manufacturers have been forced to install DSGs, thereby making it too expensive to offer both configurations.

In performance cars, it's beginning to seem a bit romantic to specify a manual, but at the practical end of the market, it's surely only the bottom line of budget brands that's keeping them alive.

23 February 2010

[quote J400uk]Was this not covered in last weeks story?[/quote]

Of course, but Autocar can never get enough publicity for VAG Group.......

23 February 2010

So it is .3 of a second faster than th Ibiza and possibly 1.5K more I think nearer 18.5K before options. It is not a bad looking car climate control looks a little naff I see the optional RNS310 Sat Nav is shown. It is a very subtle hot hatch I suppose like the Golf especially from the rear. Proof of the pudding will be in the driving............

23 February 2010

Several points / questions here:

1) Just what exactly is an "electronic differential" mentioned in the article? I assume that this car has a conventional mechanical differential, but that electronics are used to brake a slipping front wheel, thereby transferring more torque to the wheel with most grip - thereby simulating the effect of a normal lsd. But it would be good to know for sure...

2) Interesting to know the ratios used in the 7-speed DSG gearbox. Does it have 7 close ratio gears for maximum performance, or does it have one (or maybe two) overdrive gears, to give good economy and refinement when cruising with adequate performance?

3) Slightly alarming that even at the lowest weight in class, this car weighs 1184kg, which must be about 50% heavier than the original Golf GTi. So I guess it really needs that 177 bhp.

4) If this car does indeed sell for £18,000, it strikes me as something of a bargain for the technology and performance on offer.

23 February 2010

Sad, I know, but I was watching anold episode of Top Gear last night on 'Dave'.

They tested the then-new BMW 1 series, a 1.6, five door petrol. They didn't much like it. But Clarkson was at pains to pint out that it's price was too high and you must only be paying for the badge.

It was about £17k. Now we have a Polo at that price and the Auris tested elsewhere on this site.

Proof if needed of how car list prices have shot up in the intervening period.

23 February 2010

177 bhp is not enough to be in the running as a hot hatch these days, especially at that price. You could have a Clio 200 and a good foreign holiday for that money.

Having said that, that's a lot of torque. And VW are less prone to outrageous lies about their power figures than, for example, Renault.

23 February 2010

[quote LP in Brighton]

1) Just what exactly is an "electronic differential" mentioned in the article? I assume that this car has a conventional mechanical differential, but that electronics are used to brake a slipping front wheel, thereby transferring more torque to the wheel with most grip - thereby simulating the effect of a normal lsd.[/quote]

It is exactly that, similar to that fitted to a current Golf GTI

[quote LP in Brighton]

3) Slightly alarming that even at the lowest weight in class, this car weighs 1184kg, which must be about 50% heavier than the original Golf GTi. So I guess it really needs that 177 bhp. [/quote]

Not far off that... Mark 1 1600 GTI was 810kg so this is 46% heavier: almost as heavy as a Mark 4 GTI (1200kg) However, adjusting for weight this is the equivalent of a Mark 1 GTI with 120 bhp and 126 lb ft of torque, which is quite a bit more than the 110 bhp and 103 lb ft that the Mark 1 actually had. This is also likely to be an engine with a far fatter power curve and of course has a 7-speed box with continuous drive. Initial acceleration must also benefit from the trick diff and modern sticky tyres. Presumably for these reasons taken together, the claimed performance of the new car is very impressive in comparison to the Mark 1, which did 112 mph and 0-60 in around nine seconds, and shows that engineering can overcome weight.

Of course, the new Polo is not only a heavier car than the Mark 1 Golf but also a significantly larger car.

23 February 2010

A turbocharger, supercharger and a DSG? Wonderful. Once the car gets over a few years old and this stuff starts to fail, the only economically sensible thing to do would be to drive into a wall and write it off.

Theoretically of course.

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