The rumors were correct -- Volkswagen has been wrenching on a GTI version of its Polo subcompact, although its output isn’t quite as extreme as once was suggested.
The new Polo GTI, which debuts at the 2010 Geneva motor show in March, makes use of Volkswagen’s super- and turbocharged 1.4-liter “Twincharged” I-4. Output is listed at 180 hp, and a stout 184 lb-ft of torque, the latter available at a scant 2000 rpm. With a curb weight slightly over 2600 pounds and a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, VW says the car will sprint from 0-62 mph in just 6.9 seconds, and top out at 142 mph. For the greenies, Volkswagen claims the Polo GTI returns 47 mpg on the European combined cycle, and emits just 0.49 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile.
Polo GTIs also receive a new front fascia, which also includes a new honeycomb grille patterned after that on the larger Golf GTI. Headlamps are also revised, but buyers can opt for some spiffy LED running lights. Fenders are bulged ever so slightly, and help wrap the car’s sides to a revised rear fascia, which now sports a modest diffuser and dual chromed exhaust tips. A set of 17-inch aluminum wheels, cribbed from the Golf GTI, helps complete the hot-hatch look.
Inside, the new Polo GTI receives a flat-bottomed steering wheel, black trim and headliner, aluminum pedals, and new, heavily bolstered sport seats.
The Polo GTI will go on sale in Europe by the end of this summer, and will likely be substantially more expensive than a base Polo hatchback. Don’t hold your breath for this car to make its way stateside. VW executives are mulling the decision of bringing Polo variants to the U.S, nothing is written in stone quite yet -- and high-cost, low-volume performance models aren’t likely to be Volkswagen’s first priority.