Volkswagen Polo GTI Overview

The GTI has finally graced the Indian shores. The first GTI to be brought here is the Volkswagen GTI, a souped-up 3-door version of the Volkswagen Polo. We all know that when a Volkswagen gets the GTI badge, it is focussed and fast. Now that the famed GTI badge is officially here after 40 years since its inception, the hot hatch enthusiasts will be grinning ear to ear.It is the Polo GTI which is being imported as a CBU. The headlamp shape remains the same but get integrated LED DRLs. It gets the signature GTI mesh grille and gets a new sharper bumper that sports a wide mesh air-dam with integrated fog lamps. While the profile remains same, the front doors are longer as the rear doors have been ditched. The tail is the same except for the twin pod tail pipe that stands out. View offers on Volkswagen Cars from Volkswagen dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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The GTI will be based on the top-spec Highline variant of the Polo. It gets manual height adjustable driver seat, electrically adjustable and folding mirrors and cruise control. The 2-DIN music system has USB, AUX and Bluetooth compatibility. The interiors are in black with a flat bottom sporty steering wheel with steering mounted audio controls. It gets a driver armrest as well as a pull-out armrest for the rear passengers. The rear seats are foldable to increase the stowage capability of the hatchback.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Style

That was largely due to the bright red colour and lovely LED headlamps. Of course, this is me knowing what I’m looking at – most folks will still see a regular Polo at first glance until they realise that it is missing two doors. I’m glad VW chose to get the three-door variant to India. Aside from the subtly different bumpers, twin exhaust pipes and the GTI badging on the grille, front fenders and boot, there’s little to tell this car apart from the thousands of Polos on the road. Would they have liked some stripes or a more pronounced body kit? Absolutely, but that’s not the way Volkswagen works, and all its cars choose class over flash.

Nevertheless, let me walk you through the details. The grille gets a glossy, honeycomb effect with the red stripe at the bottom and a big GTI badge announcing the car’s identity. The air dam gets the honeycomb effect as well, and another differentiation to the Polo is the blacked-out splitter below the front bumper. They particularly like the full-LED headlamps and its integrated DRLs that are unmissable. There are a few red accents inside the headlamp cluster too. The side profile of the car is neat thanks to the three-door layout and large glass area with just one pillar cutting across it. Finally, I cannot move ahead without mentioning the taut shut lines that exude a sense of quality and solidity.

The 16-inch alloy wheels. They simply look boring and would fit better on a Jetta than a GTI. Internationally, the GTI gets 17-inch wheels which fill the arches pretty well, but Volkswagen brought in the 16s to improve ride quality. The rear end gets a blacked-out spoiler that extends from the edge of the roof and a faux diffuser at the bottom of the bumper. The twin-chrome exhausts add to the sportiness, and although the tail lamp looks like a regular Polo’s, the shape of the elements is what sets it apart.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Space

The interior layout again reminds strongly of the Polo, but there are a few distinguishing bits like the gloss-black central fascia, a larger touchscreen infotainment system and rotary knobs for the air conditioning.The instrument cluster has new analogue dials for the engine temperature and fuel level. There’s a digital multi-functional display screen that shows the engine oil temperature, odometer, trip meter, ambient temperature, driving range and speed. The flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped steering wheel looks great with the contrasting red stitching. It’s nice and chunky to hold with logically placed switches to operate the infotainment system and MFD.

The Tartan fabric seats, with their retro themed chequered pattern, look classy even though it isn’t leather. They have adequate bolstering to hold you snug when you chuck the car around corners. Ingress to the rear is pretty easy with a simple mechanism that folds the front seat backrest. Space at the rear is not a squeeze and perfectly adequate for full-sized passengers. Since this is an international-spec car, there are several safety bits such as Isofix points and three-point seat belts for all three occupants.

That said, the GTI is devoid of a few features such as a start-stop button and a rear-view camera we’ve come to expect from a premium car. Still, the cabin oozes quality and there’s a Germanic, built-to-last feel to the switches and knobs around the cabin. Some parts, such as the stalks behind the steering wheel, are shared with its VW group cousins like the Skoda Octavia.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Engine

Under the hood, making this hatch unimaginably quick, is a 2-litre turbo petrol engine. It’s the same unit that goes in the Golf GTI, albeit this is tuned to put out 196bhp and 320Nm. And that’s a lot for a car that weighs in 1355kg. How fast? 6.7 seconds to 100kph fast. And what that means is that you can beat a BMW 330i to a race to hundred. This engine has got a lot of shove and the turbo gives it a really strong mid- and top-end boost. The engine isn’t a very free revving one, but when it piles on revs, it really does mean business.

Mated to the engine is an excellent seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It’s the sort of transmission that every transmission ever made should take a lesson from. It’s got a mind that thinks faster than the driver’s and as a result gives you a shift just at the right moment, every single time. Despite the power being sent only to the front axle, the guys at VW have tuned it to keep the understeer well in control. An electronic diff at the front helps to a great extent doing this task and with all that tech and mechanicals to its aid, the Polo does come out as a well balanced hot hatch.

The Polo GTI has got driving modes that alter pedal response, shift points for the gearbox and a few other things. But it hasn’t got an adaptive suspension, which may not be a great thing on the road. Spain, too, like India has got patches of broken road, and the GTI lacks in absorbing them. There’s a loud thud every time it encounters a pothole, and the lack of travel on the suspension means it bottoms out if the pothole is slightly deeper. But with the way the GTI piles on speed and the way it handles curves, the harsh ride isn’t that bad a bargain.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Driving

As far as performance goes, the new GTI is just as quick as the previous model. Specifically, hitting 62 mph from a standing start takes 6.7 seconds. Top speed increased from 235 to 237 km/h (146 to 147 mph), but there’s a big change you won’t feel the difference.There are changes in the transmission department too. While the outgoing model had a seven-speed DSG, the new GTI uses a six-speed DGS. A six-speed manual is also in the cards in 2018.

The standard suspension system is obviously sportier than the regular Polo, but the optional Sport Select configuration adds active dampers and a sportier setup. With this suspension, the driver can vary the characteristics of the active dampers using the four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. Each enables the driver to make individual adjustments that have direct effects on vehicle handling. Along with its effects on the Sport Select suspension, the profile that is selected also modifies the steering, engine characteristic, and gearbox control.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Safety

Just like the regular Polo, the GTI can be equipped with a wide range of safety and assistance systems. First on the list is Blind Spot Monitor, which alerts the driver to vehicle located in the blind spots alongside the car and to vehicles approaching from the rear. This system also adds Rear Traffic Alert, which makes reversing out of parking spaces easier and safer. Next up is Driver Alert System, a technology that detects waning concentration of the driver and emits an audible warning for five seconds, along with displaying a message on the instrument cluster. The warning recommends a break from driving and is repeated if the car isn’t stopped within the next 15 minutes.

The Polo also comes with Automatic Post-Collision Braking, which is a standard feature. This system can help avoid secondary collisions after an initial crash by braking before the driver can react. Adaptive Cruise Control and Front Assist, two already familiar systems in modern cars, are also offered. Another feature is City Emergency Braking, which comes in handy in heavy and slow traffic. It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (19 mph) and applies the breaks in an impending collision with a vehicle ahead that is moving or stationary.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Cost in Hyderabad

Volkswagen Polo Gti Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 9,40,612/- (Polo GTI STD) to 9,40,612/- (Polo GTI STD). Get best offers for Volkswagen Polo Gti from Volkswagen Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Polo GTI price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Volkswagen Polo GTI Conclusion

There was a big hue and cry online about the price, but try this for perspective – in the UK, the Polo GTI is priced head on with the Mini Cooper S. In India, both are CBUs but the Mini costs considerably more. Yes, the Volkswagen Polo GTI looks remarkably similar to its humble sibling, but that’s where the familiarity ends.The Polo GTI is tremendous fun and also undoubtedly the best-handling car in VW India’s line-up. I’ll go one step further and say with confidence that it’s the best driver’s car below Rs 30 lakh. The engine is a nutter and there’s more than enough power for our road conditions. For all that performance, you also get the practicality of a boot and decent space in a well-appointed cabin.

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