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First look: VW lets 132kW Polo GTI loose

Mini Golf: VW bills its all-new GTI littl’un as the fastest, most focused and cleanest Polo it has ever built.

Volkswagen unleashes fast and furious Polo GTI ahead of late-2010 Aussie launch

Volkswagen logo18 Feb 2010

By TERRY MARTIN

VOLKSWAGEN has unveiled the much-anticipated GTI version of its fifth-generation Polo light car ahead of its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 2 and its Australian release late this year.

As VW Group Australia prepares to launch regular versions of the all-new Polo in May, the German manufacturer has issued photographs and the first official details of the hot-blooded GTI, which it promises will be the “fastest, most focused and cleanest performance Polo” ever produced.

Twenty-four years after the first performance variant of the VW light car emerged in 1986 – the 83kW supercharged G40 Coupe – the 2010 Polo GTI has turned up with the familiar 1.4-litre TSI supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine that in this application produces 132kW of power at 6200rpm and 249Nm of torque from 2000rpm.

That is streets ahead of the current ($26,990) Polo GTI, which uses a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine that musters 110kW at 5800rpm and 220Nm at 1950rpm. The new engine is also well ahead of the 1.4 petrol, 1.2 TSI and, even in torque terms, the 1.6 TDI that will be used on the regular range.

3 center image Driving the front wheels through a seven-speed, twin-clutch DSG gearbox – not a five-speed manual, as is the case now – the all-new Polo GTI can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a claimed 6.9 seconds, making it a whopping 1.3 seconds quicker than the current model. Top speed is 229km/h.

Weighing about 10kg less than the current model, the 1184kg Polo is also said to be capable of returning a combined fuel consumption average of 6.0L.100km, with CO2 emissions of 139g/km.

The current model returns 7.9L/100km on the Australian standard and has CO2 emissions of 190g/km.

As well as driving through a DSG gearbox, the Polo GTI is fitted with VW’s XDS electronic transverse differential lock XDS differential (as seen on the Golf GTI), which is linked to the standard stability control system and is designed to improve traction and handling.

Compared to the regular Polo, the GTI also has new springs and dampers that serve to lower the ride height 15mm.

Exterior changes mimic the Golf GTI with a deep front airdam and honeycomb grille with horizontal red strips and a GTI badge. New headlights, which include the option of LED running lights, also aim to provide the hot Polo with an “imposing new look”.

Other hot-hatch treatment includes a pair of chrome-tipped exhaust outlets, rear diffuser, 17-inch wheels (the same as those used on Golf GTI), red brake callipers and subtle side skirts.

Interior highlights include revised dials, flat-bottomed GTI steering wheel (with gearshift paddles and contrasting red stitching), aluminium pedals and heavily bolstered sports seats finished in tartan trim.

Subtle gloss black trim is used on the centre console, while the headlining is also finished in black.

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