Volkswagen Says No to Polo R, but Jetta R, Audi S1 Under Development

Volkswagen recently launched its new Polo GTI overseas, but is there room for an even hotter form of its smallest hatch? Not likely — although its R GmbH tuning division is open to crafting performance models of virtually every VW model (including the Jetta), executives feel a Polo R would step on the toes of a new Audi S1 model that’s also in the works.

“I would say there have been some ideas about [Polo R], but more in the press than the company itself because we have our [Polo] GTI and within our company Audi has an *** Dr. Ernst Linder, technical chief of the new Polo, told “The S1 topped our [Polo] GTI and to put a car above both, we think we’ll not have the same volume to make it interesting. “

Although we’ve only seen Audi’s A1, Linder confirmed the S1 variant will utilize the same supercharged and turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 as the Polo GTI (good for roughly 182 horsepower), mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. A Polo R designed to outperform the S1 wouldn’t necessarily make financial sense, as extra power would require other features — notably all-wheel-drive — that could make the VW more expensive than the Audi.

“From the technical point-of-view, of course we can do something,” Linder said. “From the financial point-of-view it doesn’t make so much sense. It would be too expensive and we have the S1. The S1 will have 182 horsepower and it’s a very sporty car. If we put much more power in the [Polo], we need something like four-wheel-drive. This is a technical feature that is very expensive.”

In order to attain more power, a Polo R would also need to adopt a different engine, which could prove expensive. Linder says the twincharged 1.4-liter I-4 is already close to its maximum power output, and can only be tuned for an additional 10-20 more horsepower.

While Linder crushed the idea of a Polo R, he did confirm a Jetta R will work its way into VW’s European lineup shortly after a new Jetta launches next year. Linder didn’t indicate what will power the Jetta R, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it cribbed the 267-horsepower, 2.0-liter I-4 from the Golf R. We’d love to see a Jetta hotter than the GLI in our market, but seeing as cost and pricing are threatening the Golf R’s arrival in the U.S., we wouldn’t be surprised if this remains a forbidden fruit.


Buying Guide
Powered by Motortrend
2010 Volkswagen GTI

2010 Volkswagen GTI

MSRP $24,269 2.0T (Manual) 4-Door Hatchback


21 City / 31 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick

Horse Power:

200 @ 6000