By on May 10, 2010

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.

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18 Comments on “Announcing The Double-Blown Hot Hatch Polo GTI You Can’t Buy...”

  • avatar

    scheisse…so ein schoenes Auto…aber nur fuer Deutschland? That really is crap (no matter how you translate it!). Guess they figure this little hatch would steal sales from the Golf GTi??

  • avatar

    This is a Mini competitor, no? Perhaps VW thinks it might steal sales from the allegedly ‘coming across the pond’ super duper GTI… that still isn’t available in the US.

    How much are Mini’s in Germany and how do they compare pricewise to both the GTI and Polo GTI?

  • avatar

    The dash on that car is beautiful. The rear end reminds me the 2nd gen car.

    But the über complicated engine and gearbox scares the shit out of me. The repair bill on those puppies must be hefty is something goes wrong.

  • avatar

    “In case you want to take junior to the Nordschleife.”

    Of course, how are we supposed to foster the next generation of gearheads if we don’t? Can’t wait till I have a worthy car to strap my god-daughter into (she’s finishing 4th grade) and teach her her the thrill of good driving skills.

  • avatar

    not the car you want to own without warranty

    neither is the base TDI polo/golf with the direct injection turbocharged motor… and certainly not the diesel with VGT turbo and very high pressure pump and injection gear

  • avatar

    I approve of this vehicle.

  • avatar

    Now that…Ford…is a PROPER B-Class car.

    Great looking, nice, quality interior, modern powertrain, etc.

    If that were here…it would print money for VW.

    • 0 avatar

      The depressing reality is: American buyers still equate size with value, even though it does not cost significantly different to build a car of this size vs the Golf. So the Polo would either have to be decontened to hit a lower price target, or sold for about the same as the GTI. Add to that exchange rate issues if it’s built in a European plant, and it would probably be a slow-selling money loser.

  • avatar

    While not downplaying the complexity of the motor, I think the claims here are a bit overblown. I don’t recall a lot of problems with VW turbochargers/superchargers or the injectors/fuel pumps.

    There were a significant number of problems with sludge on the 1.8Ts and problems with the original 2.0Ts, but most of the direct injection issues seem to have abated by MY2008/2009.

    Being a yank, I’m not familiar with the track record for the 1.4, but if it has its base in the 2.0T, I have to imagine that most of the gremlins have been exorcised by now.

    • 0 avatar

      The 1.4L twin charge engine has been available for a while now on the Golf, and they still haven’t exorcised the demons from it. I know of a number of Mk6 Golfs (i.e. less than a year old) that have required a new engine due to piston ring problems with this engine.

      Caveat Emptor (Latin for stick with the 2.0T)

  • avatar

    The SC they’re using on that isn’t the same as the G[renade]60 is it?

  • avatar

    Thanks Bertel for depressing us again. VWoA are a bunch of deutschbags at the best of times. This doesn’t help.

  • avatar

    Wow, lighter than a Cooper S? More power? Better fuel economy? Is the back seat more accommodating than in the MINI? If so, MINI would have some stiff competition in the US if they brought this Polo here.

  • avatar

    After 30 years of horror stories regarding predatory VW dealers, lousy service and terrible reliability, including some personal experiences with a 1980 Rabbit, there would be no way I’d own a VW. It’s in high contrast to the way the VW dealers conducted business during the period from 1955 til 1979, so they know how to act better, they just choose not to.

    • 0 avatar

      I recently helped someone shop for a car. We looked at many different manufacturers. The only truly bad sales experience we had was at a VW dealer… Actually, two out of two VW dealers were some combination of rude, pushy, and uncaring.

      In addition to the pretty rude sales staff, I noticed a +$2,500 “Northwest Adjustment” on some of the cars.

  • avatar
    Carlos Villalobos

    We received the previous generation here. Great little car

  • avatar


    Americans wouldn’t “get it” in large enough quantity to make it a best seller though. Of course the Mini has done well. It and a few others have shown that small can be really good at the same time.

    I want to see this Polo in person. Might even buy one. I want the educating of “blinded by big” Americans to continue. Bring it over.

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