Polo GTi all grown up but boasting a youthful soul
Ahead of the arrival of the new Volkswagen Polo GTi in SA in June, Michael Taylor drove it in Spain
Some people argue the Golf GTi has become too big and stolid to be a Golf GTi anymore. There’s an answer for that, and it’s the Polo GTi and it’s stunningly good. Volkswagen hasn’t traditionally thrown a lot of coherent thought into developing a performance sub-brand, like Benz’s AMG, Renault’s RS, BMW’s M or Audi Sport. There have been six generations of the Golf GTi and some smaller models, too, but they have always been hit and miss and, to those outside their cult, they’ve often seemed hideously expensive for sometimes-modest upgrades. The latest Polo GTi, which will arrive in SA in June, is a very good car all by itself. It just fits better and more logically as the middle child of a family that is bookended by the Up GTi (not coming to SA) and the eponymous Golf GTi. It helps that the latest generation of the Polo is the best the badge has ever been, moving on to the junior version of the Golf’s MQB chassis, giving it a lower centre of gravity and a whole suite of safety, stre...