New Volkswagen Polo GTI revealed

Polo GTI gets new engine, subtle styling tweaks and a manual gearbox

Volkswagen has revealed pictures and technical information on the new Volkswagen Polo GTI, which is set to go on sale next year. The car gets a new engine plus some sporty styling tweaks, and is now available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The Polo GTI sits at the more upmarket end of the hot hatch class, and as a result it looks quite conservative compared to models such as the Ford Fiesta ST – our current Hot Hatchback of the Year – and the Renaultsport Clio. As is traditional, it looks like a pint-sized Volkswagen Golf GTI thanks to a flash of red along the grille, a subtle GTI badge and a sporty front bumper. It will also be available with full LED headlights for the first time. In profile, big alloy wheels and badges on the wings mark it out from the normal Polo, while only the GTI badge and large twin exhaust pipes help you spot it from the back.

Inside, there’s a familiar mix of GTI tartan upholstery and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with red stitching.

Volkswagen has yet to release fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures, but in terms of power the car has a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 192bhp. That’s 12bhp more than the old model and enough to get it from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds, while top speed is 146mph. Although the outgoing car was only available with a DSG automatic gearbox, the new car can be had with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG automatic. The latter offers the best of both worlds, with a fully automatic mode and the option to change manually using paddles on the steering wheel. Enthusiasts are likely to prefer the more involving manual gearbox, though.

The GTI also comes with a Sport Performance Kit, which will allow the driver to pick between preset modes for the car’s accelerator and steering. Combined with Sport Select Suspension, which lets the driver select various suspension settings, it means the Polo can be adjusted for comfort or sporty driving.

Volkswagen has yet to reveal the price of the new GTI, but expect it be close to £20,000. The car is widely tipped to make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

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