VW has been testing a new Polo GTI, with a power output of around 200bhp from its 1.4 litre supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine, at the Nurburgring and expects to launch it next spring.
The car, likely to be sold only as a three-door, will be offered either with a six-speed stick-shift or a seven-speed DSG gearbox, the latter with the paddle-shift cheaper DSG Polo models lack.
VW's Polo MPV, estate, cabrio plan VW product boss Dr Ulrich Hackenburg says the company has made big strides with maintaining traction in a small but very powerful, front-drive car, by careful development of an electronically controlled “limited slip differential” that uses strategic applications of its front brakes to tame wheelspin. Alfa Romeo’s Mito uses a similar system.
Hackenburg says the Polo GTI’s electro-mechanical power steering has also been adapted, by use of convenient on-board computer power, to predict and compensate for torque steer under hard acceleration.
The Polo GTI will bring with it a new VW design language when it goes on sale, which will be seen with its front grille and new spoilers.