Volkswagen revs up new Polo GTI


Facelifted last year and only available with a single 1.2 TSI engine in two states of tune, Volkswagen South Africa has added a third derivative to its top selling Polo line-up in the form of the re-invented GTI.

Although still instantly recognisable as a Polo with only a few cosmetics enhancements to distinguish itself from lesser models, the new junior GTI features a raft of changes under the skin with the most notable being the fitment of a bigger 1.8 TSI and the return of a manual gearbox alongside the previous only dual-clutch DSG box.

Externally, the Polo remains true to the discreet styling nature of the previous GTI, with latest model sporting a more pronounced front bumper, LED daytime running lights, the iconic red strip under the grille with GTI logos on the grille, front wings and on the bootlid, 17-inch Parabolicca alloy wheels and at the back, red taillight clusters, boot spoiler, black diffuser and chrome tipped exhausts.

Inside, the changes are even more subtle but more no-less striking with red stitching on the leather wrapped multi-function steering-wheel, handbrake, gear lever and floor mats, heated sport seats finished in Alcantara and leather, and chrome inserts on the doors and steering wheel.

Hiding up front, the all-new poweplant replaces the previous 1.4 TSI unit and now sports direct injection and a water cooled exhaust manifold to produce 141 kW and 320 N.m of torque when connected to the six-speed manual, and 250 N.m of torque when fitted with the seven-speed DSG.

Despite the difference, Volkswagen claims 0-100 km/h sprint for both in 6.7 sec with a top speed of 236 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 5.6 L/100 km for the manual and 6.0 L/100 km for the DSG with emissions coming in at 129 g/km and 139 g/km respectively.

Being the new range topper, the GTI comes fitted with a raft of equipment including Volkswagen’s new 5.8-inch Composition touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth audio streaming, USB and Aux inputs, cruise control, climate control, XDS electronic front diff, Hill Hold Control, Driver Alert System, Post-Collision Braking System, Sport Electronic Stability Control and for the first time, adaptive Sport suspension when ordering the optional Sport Performance Kit.

Initially only the DSG will be available with the manual following later this year. A three year / 120 000 km warranty and three year / 45 000 km service plan is included in the R326 400 asking price.


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