Next-gen hatch will go up against 2017 Ford Fiesta and be available as a five-door model; hot GTI model will produce more power

The Volkswagen Polo will be larger and lighter than the current car, with a single five-door body style.

The new MQB A0 chassis layout will be shared with the smallest cars of the Volkswagen Group, the next Audi A1Seat Ibiza and Skoda Fabia. As shown by the latest Polo spy pictures, the wheelbase will be longer, allowing for a longer roofline to increase cabin space.

2017 Volkswagen Polo officially revealed

Unlike the current Polo's underpinning's, the MQB A0 platform won't be available in three-door guise. Using a single body style will help Volkswagen counter the additional cost of extra in-car technology set to be included with the next-gen Polo.

These will include optional features such as the latest VW touchscreen infotainment with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, driver assist functions such as cruise control and a reversing camera.

The new, more focused underpinnings will also be lighter than the current Polo's, helping to boost efficiency across the range.

The next Polo will be available with small-capacity turbocharged engines, including an entry-level naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol unit with around 75bhp. Turbocharged versions of the same engine will sit above this, with up to 115bhp on offer.

The future Polo will also ditch its 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol units for a 1.5-litre one with up to 160bhp on offer. The diesel line-up will likely be made up of turbocharged four-cylinder units offering 90-130bhp.

More power for the Polo GTI

The Polo line-up will be headed by a new and more powerful Volkswagen Polo GTI modelThe future hot hatch is likely to use an evolved version of the current car’s 1.8-litre TSI engine, but output is expected to rise beyond that car’s 189bhp and 236lb ft of torque. The power boost should help the Polo GTI keep up with rivals such as Renault’s recently updated Clio RS and the next-gen Ford Fiesta ST.

Sources say the next Polo GTI could inherit more standard performance parts, bringing it closer into line with its sharper sibling, the Ibiza Cupra, which currently comes with adjustable dampers as standard.

The GTI is also expected to retain an XDS electronic locking differential system, which is shared with the Cupra and uses the brakes to tighten the car’s line through corners.

Like the today's model, the next-gen GTI is also likely to retain both its manual and automatic gearbox options. The Ibiza Cupra dropped its automatic option in the UK, but sales of automatic Polos have been stronger.

Spy pictures of the GTI test mule (shown above) suggest the model has been given the same restrained styling as the current car, with only large-diameter wheels and a twin-exit exhaust system being clear signifiers of the car’s performance potential.

This design direction is unsurprising because the Ibiza Cupra has typically been the car from this Volkswagen Group family to flaunt the sportiest design. The Polo GTI has tended to mimic its larger sibling, the Golf GTI, with a more mature appearance.

The Polo's smaller sibling, the Volkswagen Up, will also spawn a GTI model.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Polo GTI
New Polo GTI is powered by a 189bhp 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor

A new engine and gearbox make for a much improved small GTI - but is it a match for some stellar rivals?

Join the debate

Comments
15

5 August 2016
Bigger than the current Polo but smaller than a Golf, with 200hp. if £4000 less than a Golf I know which 5 door I'd go for.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 August 2016
xxxx wrote:

Bigger than the current Polo but smaller than a Golf, with 200hp. if £4000 less than a Golf I know which 5 door I'd go for.

I thought for a moment that you were hinting that you might be tempted by the "electric" performance of the Polo.

5 August 2016
"As with the current Polo, the next-gen car will share several parts with the Audi A1, Seat Ibiza and Skoda Fabia." Or in the non-VAG fanboy world inhabited by Autocar - They are all the same car but with different body pressing and interior mouldings. And a huge price difference depending on whether you like a good honest super-mini for realistic money like a SEAT or Skoda or a badge snob with money to burn and want those four rings on the car at a cost of anything up to £2500 per ring.

5 August 2016
Our Polo GTI would cost about £19k, without any discounts. I suspect the equivalent Skoda Fabia VRS or Seat Ibiza FR would cost less if purchased outright.

Our Polo GTI costs us about £142 per month inc VAT and road tax (£1200ish deposit). I haven't checked but I suspect the Skoda and Seat would cost more to lease due to perceived residuals. Sometimes being a "badge snob" can work in your favour, financially.

5 August 2016
spqr wrote:

"...They are all the same car but with different body pressing and interior mouldings. And a huge price difference depending on whether you like a good honest super-mini for realistic money like a SEAT or Skoda or a badge snob with money to burn and want those four rings on the car at a cost of anything up to £2500 per ring.

Oh and they look totally different from each other, outside and inside, have different power outputs, different chassis setup, different spec., differing material quality etc but apart from that they're exactly the same.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 August 2016
If they give it the handling spark of the Golf GTI it could be a winner, then again they wont because this is effectively a Golf GTI. Almost as fast and virtually as practical. Next Golf GTI will probably feature 250 horsepower but it hardly matters in the real world.

ofir

5 August 2016
Have no need for a 5dr second car and our 3dr Polo GTI reminds me of the old MK1 Golf GTIs I once owned.

Not a big fan of the gear box tbh, much prefer the one fitted to our old MX5.

5 August 2016
So the Polo is another car off the list for those of us who want, or need, a 3-door small hatchback. The number of 3-door current Polo and Fiesta models on the road suggests I'm not the only one who wants this bodystyle, and as far as the 'sporty' versions go the 3-door model is always the more dynamic looking one by far. Manufacturers are always going on about the fantastic choice for the consumer, filling every obscure niche there is, but some of them are now ignoring our more basic requirements.

5 August 2016
@catnip, hence the popularity of the 3-dr Mini for many. For style, I like 3 doors generally, but for ease of use (including reaching for seatbelt and entry/exit in tight parking spaces) I prefer 5 doors. Will a hot Up fill the 3 door gap I wonder?

5 August 2016
Scratch wrote:

@catnip, hence the popularity of the 3-dr Mini for many. For style, I like 3 doors generally, but for ease of use (including reaching for seatbelt and entry/exit in tight parking spaces) I prefer 5 doors. Will a hot Up fill the 3 door gap I wonder?

The MINI three-door, with its shorter wheelbase, is certainly less practical than its five-door stablemate, but it is, IMHO, so much better looking, with its frameless windows, smooth glasshouse and floating roof. The five-door is just frumpy and fussy by comparison, with its thick window frames. It not as though you cannot successfully engineer four doors with frameless windows; ask Subaru!

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