Polo GTI could be the real GTI
The Golf GTI has become a true icon, a legend and is now the only Golf on offer in South Africa, well until the R arrives. This is testament to the GTI’s cult-like following on local soil. However, when the German automaker introduced the Polo GTI a few years back, it was very quickly met with the same passion as the Golf was. Could the latest Polo GTI be the ideal embodiment of what the GTI should be? We spent time with it to find out.
The original GTI was a small pocket-rocket that offered a fun and engaging driving experience. It gave the man on the street the ability to enjoy their trip to work in the same way as those in sportscars would enjoy a weekend drive. That hasn't changed with the new GTI, it is now more powerful than ever and equally as technologically advanced. Could it be too advanced though? The Polo GTI offers that iconic pocket-rocket feel that the GTI of old did and we love it for that.
A small, compact hatchback with a powerful engine, quick gearbox and a visual attitude that is bound to excite… yes please! The iconic design features legendary GTI insignia, such as the red strip in the radiator grille, the honeycomb structure of the air intake grille, red brake callipers and GTI lettering on the radiator grille. The new Polo GTI is equipped with sports suspension that is specially tuned for the vehicle. This lowers the body by 15mm and combines solid driving dynamics, reliable neutrality and very good driving comfort typical for GTI models.
The interior of the Polo GTI is just as unmistakable as its exterior. The dominating colours in the interior are black, red, grey and chrome. As typical for GTI models, the roof pillars and headliner are Titanium Black. The trim on the dash panel is now finished in a striking Kings Red glossy colour. Optional features in the Polo GTI include the panoramic sunroof, Deep Iron Grey dashboard trim, 18-inch Faro alloy wheels, Discover Media System (with navigation, wireless App-Connect, Voice Control, inductive mobile charging and the multi-colour Digital Cockpit Pro), ‘beats’ sound system, leather seat package, Rear view Camera to name a few. Our test unit had many of these options fitted which will see the price rise, but if you are in the position to afford the options then go ahead because they do add to the appeal of the vehicle.
Out on the road, the GTI offers a hugely entertaining driving experience, it’s fun, fast and eager when the road gets twisty. The 2.0 TSI turbo-charged engine delivers a power output of 147kW. The maximum torque is 320Nm. These figures are similar to that of the Golf 5 GTI. The Polo GTI will complete the zero to 100km/h sprint in just 6.7 seconds. This makes the little pocket-rocket a relatively potent little machine which embodies that true GTI heritage that we have come to love over the years.