The long awaited Polo GTI is not long awaited anymore. Except if you live in the U.S.A. Then you can wait until the proverbial cows come home. Or until someone at VeeDub has an epiphany and sends the thing stateside. (I still remember how long it took them to introduce the original Golf GTI to the U.S. Forever. We begged them. “There is a 55 mph speed limit,” they said. “They buy Porsches,” we said. “That’s something else,” they said. “They buy muscle cars,” we said. “Stop bugging us,” they said. And how long did it take them to decide to bring a civilian version of Polo to the U.S.? What, 35 years?)
The textbook example of engine downsizing that gets 180 hp out of its twincharged (turbo and supercharger) pintsized (1.4 liter) TSI engine, while making owners of gas stations increase their anti-depression medication with a 40 mpg US rating (estimated) is being officially launched today in Germany. In style: At the Nürburgring.
That little critter combines trackworthy performance with that new word, “sustainability.” The 2626.8 lbs light VeeDub accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 229 km/h (142 mph.) In the sustainability dept., combined fuel consumption is 5.9 L/100km (40 mpg U.S.)—equivalent to CO2 emissions of 139 g/km, 25 percent lower than the previous model.
According to Volkswagen’s press release, power is transferred to the front wheels via an extremely efficient 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) as standard equipment. An electronic transverse differential lock (XDS) reduces the tendency to understeer. ESP is standard, including Hill Climb Assist.
Now we don’t want all that power get to your head. That’s why you will be surrounded by a whole network of airbag, including combined head-thorax side airbags, belt tensioners, belt tension limiters plus belt warning, head restraints designed to avoid whiplash trauma (each in front), three rear head restraints as well as Isofix points on the rear bench seat for suitably fitted child seats. In case you want to take junior to the Nordschleife.
Dealers are standing by to take your order – in Germany.