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New Volkswagen Polo GTI revealed in full

Volkswagen calls it ‘a modern sports car in the best tradition’. We call it one of the year’s most eagerly anticipated hot hatches.

New VW Polo GTI front view

Either way, say hello to the new Volkswagen Polo GTI, revealed in full for the first time.

The famous ‘GTI’ badge has been adorning Volkswagens since 1976 but has actually only appeared on the Polo since 1998, becoming the third model to do so after the Golf and the Scirocco.

And as with Polo GTIs of the past, the emphasis here is on sportiness combined with efficiency that won’t break the bank.

New VW Polo GTI rear end

In terms of power, lease customers will enjoy a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 207 PS mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The new model is marginally quicker than the one it replaces, covering 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, which matches its biggest rival, the Ford Fiesta ST.

It’s also quicker than the Hyundai i20N, but falls short of the Toyota GR Yaris, which reaches 62mph from a standstill in just 5.5 seconds.

Economy wise, you can expect the Polo GTI to return close to 40 miles to the gallon. Meanwhile the little GTI has also been given a fairly extensive makeover in terms of its styling, too. 

The Polo GTI now comes as standard with the ‘IQ.Light’ LED matrix headlights and an illuminated radiator grille bar, as well as your typical daytime running lights. That, says VW, is a little nod and a wink to the firm’s fully-electric ID. models.

New VW Polo GTI grille and badge

At the rump of the car you’ll find newly-designed LED rear lights that are animated and also feature integrated dynamic indicators. There’s a new bumper to give the car a ‘broader visual presence on the roads’, says the German manufacturer.

And there’s a choice of five colours available - Deep Black Pearl Effect, Smoke Grey Metallic, Kings Red Metallic, Pure White Uni, and Reef Blue Metallic - with the latter three of those also available with a contrasting black roof as an option.

New VW Polo GTI side view

As standard you’ll get 17 inch alloys but you can bump those up to 18 inch if you wish.

In the past, some Polo GTI detractors have accused the car’s interior of being a little dull. Well, VW looks to be making steps to address that criticism with the blinged-up cabin of the new incarnation.

On the interior, black, red, grey and chrome are the dominant colours. There’s traditional GTI red stitching galore as well as a striking red dash and surround.

New VW Polo GTI interior

What’s also good to know is that the luggage capacity of the new Polo GTI is 351 litres - which trumps the 292 litres you get with the Fiesta ST or the 278 litres on offer with the five-door MINI Cooper S.

What’s also interesting about the new Polo GTI is that it’s available with ‘IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist’ for the very first time.

This is a sophisticated bit of tech that enables semi-automated driving. It can take over the steering, braking and accelerating of the car, by leaning on the systems already in place for Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist, which come as standard.

A VW spokesperson says:

“The bearer of the legendary acronym spearheads the Polo segment in terms of performance, technology and sportiness.
“The powerful TSI engine and sports chassis, tailored specifically to the Polo GTI, transform the best-selling compact car into a dynamic, four-door sports car, which also allows semi-automated driving as an option for the first time in a Polo GTI. A host of the latest generation of assistance systems guarantee even greater comfort and safety for all passengers.”

It’ll be available to order later in the year.


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Matthew Knowles

Saturday, 04/09/2021