VW Polo GTI – powerful comeback of the 70s
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The VW Polo GTI is available at prices from 22,500 euros. The small car is powered by a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with 180 hp.
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With a length of 3.97 meters, the Polo is 24 centimeters shorter than the Golf, and the VW brothers are separated by around 200 kilograms in weight.
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The performance of the 1.4 liter engine is achieved with the help of a compressor and a turbocharger. Thanks to 180 hp, the Polo GTI sprints to 100 km / h in 6.9 seconds and reaches 229 km…/H.
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Visually present: red brake calipers peek out from under the rims of the Polo GTI and the radiator grille framed by a red stripe has a honeycomb pattern.
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At the rear, the chrome-plated double exhaust and the small spoiler on the windshield are noticeable.
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The upholstery fabrics in the interior take up the traditional check pattern of the first GTI. The mood is otherwise sporty too: the steering wheel is flattened at the bottom, with contrasting stitching…e set accents, and the sport seats offer plenty of lateral support.
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This is what the original GTI from 1976 looked like.
Source: picture-alliance / dpa / VW_Volkswagen
It’s not just the checkered sports seats in the new VW Polo GTI that are reminiscent of the first Golf GTI from 1976. The hot small car is much closer to the original than today’s Golf. The Polo is smaller than the Golf, it is cheaper and it is almost as fast. And above all: It’s just as much fun.
A.As the little brother of the big Golf GTI, it does a lot of things right by imitating a lot. This includes the checkered sports seats, which are reminiscent of the original GTI from 1976. The current Polo is closer to this than its big brother today, which is due to the dimensions alone. In the course of time, sporty natures also grow in all directions and so the polo is around 15 centimeters longer than the golf was back then. And with a base price of 22,500 euros, it is of course also more expensive than the first GTI 34 years ago, which cost 13,850 marks at the time.
In return, among other things, it has more power. From a displacement of just 1.4 liters, the technicians use a compressor and a turbocharger to force 180 hp, which are monitored by all kinds of electronics and filtered through seven gears via the front wheels. The original GTI still had to be content with 110 hp. Back then, they had an empty weight of 780 kilograms to accelerate; the Polo GTI now weighs 1194 kilograms.
Weight isn’t everything, and a few extra pounds look great. Today’s Polo stands full and strong on the road without looking bulky. The red GTI lettering on the grille of the radiator grille has a subtle effect. The red brake shoes are more eye-catching and the voluminous double exhaust tells even those with no automotive need that there is something different in here than in the basic Polo.
There are reminiscences of the seventies in the interior. The fabric sports seats are checked and all leather parts have red stitching. Nice! You can see that you are in the modern age by the piano lacquer surfaces and of course the furnishings. Navigation systems now cost extra, back then there weren’t any.
Just as little as modern drive technology. The GTI is the first Polo to have a seven-speed direct-shift gearbox as standard. Normally you put the selector lever on D and the automatic does everything right. If you want to have a little more fun on the winding mountain roads around the Nordschleife of the Nurburgring, where VW presented the GTI, we recommend using the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. At the touch of a finger, the gears change in a flash, which you can tell when the tachometer needle jumps to the next higher or lower number. Acoustically, the shifting process is most noticeable when downshifting.
The small four-cylinder sounds robust like a sports engine under load. He acknowledges a slight accelerator or a simple roll with genteel restraint. That makes the Polo GTI pleasantly suitable for everyday use, even though the suspension is overall sporty and firm and therefore a little uncomfortable for longer journeys.
The chassis has an electronic limited-slip differential called the XDS. It ensures that as much power as possible comes onto the road even in tight bends and should help ensure that the GTI sprints from a standstill to 100 km / h in just 6.9 seconds. VW specifies the maximum speed at 229 km / h. These are values that not so long ago would have looked good on real sports cars.
VW is particularly proud, and rightly so, of the consumption figures achieved by the GTI. With 5.9 liters of standard consumption and 139 grams of CO2 per kilometer, the 180-hp car is in the small car league. Compared to its direct predecessor, the Polo GTI has become around 25 percent more economical: a considerable leap. Downsizing paired with an electronic transmission control makes it possible.
Overall, the Polo has consistently earned good marks. He faces competition above all from his own group in the form of the Skoda Fabia RS and the Seat Ibiza Cupra, both of which use the same engine. But the Polo puts a lot of pressure on its big brother, the Golf. It’s sportier, lighter, a good 5000 euros cheaper and, last but not least, closer to the original.
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