The hottest model in the newly facelifted Polo model eschews the turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine of its direct predecessor in favour of a more powerful turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder direct injection unit from the Audi-developed EA888 engine family.
The adoption of the new engine sees power increase by 11bhp, rising from an earlier 178bhp to 189bhp. It also brings an additional 56lb ft of torque, which has increased from a previous 184lb ft to 236lb ft.
In a further change, Volkswagen now offers the Polo GTI with a standard six-speed manual gearbox. The previous model was sold exclusively with a seven-speed dual shift gearbox – a unit that now comes as an option.
In line with other Polo models, it also offers the choice of ‘Sport-Select’ suspension featuring adaptive damping control.
Volkswagen is yet to quote a weight figure for its new go-fast Polo, but official performance figures point to a considerable 0.7sec reduction in the 0-62mph time at 6.7sec, along with a 5mph increase in top speed at 147mph.
The range-topping Polo GTI is differentiated from other Polo models by uniquely styled bumpers, red GTI badges, widened sills underneath the doors and a subtle tailgate spoiler.
Inside, it receives a sports steering wheel, unique instrument graphics and contoured sport seats similar in style to those seen in the front cabin of the larger Golf GTI.
The new model goes on sale this month but official pricing has yet to be confirmed.
Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below: