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Paris show: Volkswagen ups the Polo ponies

Power on: Volkswagen’s Polo GTI steps up to the plate with more power and torque, thanks to more cubic inches.

VW confirms Polo GTI flagship will get 1.8-litre turbo power in 2015 makeover

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Volkswagen logo18 Sep 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

VOLKSWAGEN’S Polo GTI will get a heart transplant at the Paris motor show, swapping its 1.4-litre turbo engine for a more muscular 1.8-litre unit as part of the German company’s facelift of its light hatchback range.

As expected, the fresh Audi-developed engine will lift power and torque from the current 132kW/250Nm to 141kW/320Nm, chopping the hot hatch’s 0-100km/h acceleration time to 6.7 seconds – a gain of 0.7 seconds. Top speed is said to be 237km/h.

And as already announced, VW will also offer the revised GTI with a manual gearbox for the first time alongside the seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission that, until now, has been the only choice.

Volkswagen Group Australia general manager communications Karl Gehling has confirmed the new flagship GTI will arrive in Australia about March or April next year, completing the roll out of the facelifted Polo range that started in Australia with the mainstream models in August.

Like other Polo variants, the GTI will come only in five-door hatchback guise, with the same sheetmetal as before but new-look plastics and lights.

The power lift puts the Polo GTI on a more even footing with hot hatch rivals such as the 134kw/240Nm Ford Fiesta RS, 147kW/275Nm Peugeot 208 GTi and 147kW/240Nm Renault Clio RS200 Sport.

For the time being, the soon-to-be-superseded 1.4-litre Polo GTI remains on sale at $29,540 (plus on-road costs).

Mr Gehling said it was too early to speak about new-model pricing, which would be announced closer to launch.

VW Australia cut Polo pricing when it introduced the new range last month, launching the refreshed base model with an introductory price of $16,290 for the 66TSI Trendline manual.

Like all VW GTI variants, the hottest Polo gets the sports treatment with unique bumpers, side skirts and a small tailgate spoiler, as well as red accents on items such as GTI badges and a strip across the grille.

Sports seats and chunky steering wheel are included in the package.

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