Bigger engine, more power and a new platform for the pokiest Polo
When was the last time you can remember a new car launching with an engine bigger than its predecessor? Not downsized for the sake of emissions, but made larger and more powerful than before. Sure, the latest Polo GTI engine probably will be more efficient than before, though it's still nice to see cubic capacity climb.
Fear not, a manual is also offered
Not so long ago the Polo GTI had a 1.4-litre engine with a supercharger and a turbocharger; that was then replaced a little while back with a 1.8-litre engine, and a manual gearbox returned as well. Now it's up to 2.0-litres and 200hp from 192, matching the Renault Sport Clio and Fiesta ST.
At the moment there's not a great deal of info on the GTI, VW's focus instead on the regular Polo's increased automation, larger dimensions and new technology, but there's enough so far to warrant interest. With the MQB A0 modular platform, the car is now longer, wider and lower, with a wheelbase increase that is said to have pushed the wheels further out to the corners and should improve stability too.
Not going to be short of competition
For the GTI VW is saying there's a standard 'sport chassis' and an optional Sport Select chassis; don't forget the Ibiza Cupra has had adaptive dampers as standard for a while now. Also standard will be the familiar GTI accoutrements including a red grille surround, modest spoilers front and rear, bigger exhaust pipes and new badges. And yes, there's tartan inside. 17-inch wheels are standard, with 18s optional.
VW has launched the Polo for sale in Germany already, so a UK launch presumably isn't far behind. We would expect the GTI to be available at the same time or very soon after, and hopefully at less than £20K too. Let's see!
Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)