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Volkswagen prices auto-only Polo GTI to compete

Riding Polo: Power and torque outputs have lifted in the Polo GTI, to 147kW and 320Nm, thanks to its larger 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.

Sixth-gen Volkswagen Polo GTI loses manual option, priced from $30,990 BOCs

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Volkswagen logo19 Mar 2018

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia has announced that the sixth-generation Polo GTI hot hatch will be priced from $30,990 before on-road costs when it hits showrooms in August, while its six-speed manual gearbox option has been dropped – for now.

The Polo GTI will only be offered with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission from launch, but VGA general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger told GoAuto this could change in the future.

“It’s not being manufactured at the moment … you’ll recall that the outgoing Polo GTI spent much of its life cycle as DSG-only, and manual didn’t become a factor until considerably later.

“There was 30 per cent take up in the manual (for the previous Polo GTI), and that’s largely attributable to the anomaly that the manual runs a more powerful tune of the engine, which isn’t the case henceforth.

“Although manual take up on our performance cars is down to less than 10 per cent on Golf GTI and Golf R, we won’t rule it out altogether in the future.”

Compared to its predecessor, the latest Polo GTI is $800 dearer but matches its Renault Clio RS rival for cost, while the manual Ford Fiesta ST and automatic Suzuki Swift Sport both check in at $27,490.

As mentioned, power and torque outputs have lifted in the Polo GTI, to 147kW and 320Nm, thanks to its larger 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.

Previously, the DSG Polo GTI developed 70Nm less torque than its manual counterpart, at 250Nm, while both shared a peak power output of 141kW.

With drive sent exclusively to the front wheels, the next Polo GTI can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds – again matching the 147kW/260Nm Clio RS Sport.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch Milton Keynes alloy wheels, a Sport Select suspension, five driving modes, an extended electronic differential lock, power-folding side mirrors, front foglights, static cornering lights, dusk-sensing headlights, LED tail-lights and rain-sensing wipers.

Inside, Clark tartan upholstery, a multi-function display, a leather sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, keyless entry and start, LED interior lighting, an 8.0-inch Composition Media infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a six-speaker sound system and dual-zone climate control feature.

Advanced driver-assist safety technologies extend to forward collision warning, low-speed autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, tyre pressure monitoring, a reversing camera and cruise control.

Optional metallic and pearl-effect paint colours will incur a $500 charge, while three option packages will also be on offer.

The Driver Assistance package costs $1400 and adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, park assist and a proactive occupant protection system.

Priced at $3900, the Sound and Vision package includes an Active Info Display digital instrument cluster, a Discover Media infotainment system, satellite navigation, Media Control smartphone app compatibility and a 300W Beats sound system.

The Luxury package attracts a $1900 premium and features Art Velour microfleece upholstery, heated front seats, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRLs), 18-inch Brescia alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, and dark-tinted rear side and rear window glass.

According to VGA managing director Michael Bartsch, the new Polo GTI is pitched at “those who live and drive in the real world”.

“The verities that distinguish the Golf GTI and Golf R segue into this, the most potent Polo to date,” he added.

“Volkswagen balances the highest levels of engineering and technology with luxury, a feat that others cannot emulate in affordable compact cars.

“The Polo GTI is yet another of our hot hatches to embody the Volkswagen formula of doing everything well.”

Polo sales took a hit last year in the lead up the new model’s release, with 6515 examples sold to the end of 2017, representing a 20.4 per cent drop over the 8186 deliveries in 2016.

This effort was enough to place the Volkswagen sixth in the sub-$25,000 light-car segment last year, trailing the Hyundai Accent (17,578 units), Mazda2 (12,101), Toyota Yaris (11,226), Honda Jazz (7301) and Kia Rio (6852).

VGA has also revealed that the limited-edition Golf GTI Performance Edition 2 is on its way this year, with pricing and specification to be released closer to its unspecified on-sale date.

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