The new Polo GTI takes sporty design cues from the latest Golf GTI. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new Polo GTI takes sporty design cues from the latest Golf GTI.     Picture: SUPPLIED

The Volkswagen Polo GTI is one of those perfectly judged cars. Its price, everyday practicality and peachy, pocket-rocket talents have won it many hearts and accolades here in SA.

After a short teaser campaign, VW has finally revealed the car with its midlife update, and its “baby-Golf GTI” aggro cuteness is dazzling.

VW has set the cat among the pigeons with the technological features on offer, including IQ.Light LED matrix headlights for driving with the main beam activated without dazzling other road users. The Polo GTI also offers semi-automated steering, lane assist, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

Furthermore there’s an Online Connectivity Unit integrated with an eSIM for cloud-based services such as streaming through We Connect, voice control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a digital instrument panel.

Its mechanical configuration remains a turbocharged four-cylinder paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG) as standard driving the front wheels. It fires 152kW — 5kW more than the outgoing model — while torque is unchanged at 320Nm.

There’s a marginal improvement in performance. The new car does the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.5 sec with a top speed of 240km/h, vs the 6.7 sec and 237km/h of its predecessor. VW says the new model also handles better, thanks to a sportier chassis that hunkers 15mm lower than standard Polos, aided by the fitment of a traction-enhancing XDS electronic differential lock.

The Polo GTI’s flamboyant interior with red accents and check-pattern seats. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Polo GTI’s flamboyant interior with red accents and check-pattern seats. Picture: SUPPLIED

Driving profile selection comes as standard and offers four modes, Eco, Individual, Normal and Sport.

The optional configuration of Sport Select running gear allows the driver to activate two different damping characteristics for the switchable shock absorbers.

The new Polo GTI with revised rear styling is available in five colours: Deep Black Pearl Effect, Smoke Grey Metallic, Kings Red Metallic, Pure White Uni, and Reef Blue Metallic. The latter three chassis colours offer the option of a contrasting black roof and the car comes with 17-inch alloy wheels as standard or 18 inches optionally. The brake calipers are red.

Black, red, grey and chrome are the dominant interior colours, and the seat centre-panels are covered with the iconic Clark check pattern. The leather multifunction sports steering wheel is flattened at the bottom.

Optional equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, ArtVelours seat covers, voice control and the Beats sound system with 300 watts and six speakers.

Volkswagen SA says we can expect the new Polo GTI during the first quarter of 2022 and, like the rest of the Polo range, it will be assembled at its plant in in Kariega, Eastern Cape. Pricing will be announced closer to the time.

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