Manual transmission is back
From the second half of 2015, the new Polo GTi will be offered with a manual transmission. At launch, only the 7-speed DSG transmission will be available. With both transmission variants, the new Polo GTi accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 6.7-seconds. Yet the figures for the new Polo GTi's fuel consumption show just how amazingly efficient it is: 5.6 l/100km (equivalent to 129 g/km CO2) in conjunction with the 7-speed DSG, and 6.0 litres (139 g/km CO2) with the 6-speed manual transmission.
Powerful design, distinctive GTi insignia
The exterior of the Polo GTi features new bumpers, distinctively flared door-sills, the GTi logo on the front wing and classic GTi insignia such as the red strips in the radiator grille and headlights which give the car a dynamic appearance. The Polo GTi is also available for the first time with optional LED headlights (dipped and main beam) as well as LED daytime running lights. The Polo GTi's sporty appeal is further enhanced by the new 17-inch 'Parabolicca'alloy wheels with GTi styling. At the rear, the GTi roof spoiler, tail light clusters in 'Dark Red', the black grained diffuser and the chrome dual exhaust tailpipes all add to the sporty theme.
Interior design and features
The sporty design of the interior is accentuated by the classic GTi red elements. The leather sports steering wheel, adapted from the Golf GTi, has contrasting red stitching, as do the gear lever and handbrake lever; the floor mats also feature borders with red beading. The seats are upholstered in Alcantara with leatherette inserts. The driver and front passenger have top-class heated sports seats. Features such as the instrument cluster with GTi design, black headliner and aluminium-look pedal caps complete the dynamic interior ambience. Also standard are features such as: Hill Hold assist, XDS+ Transverse Electronic Differential Lock, Driver Alert System, Cruise Control and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
New world of infotainment
The Polo GTi's radio system has been re-conceptualised with the state-of-the-art technology. The Composition Media system with colour touchscreen offers functions such as Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone and audio streaming, a proximity sensor (other menu details are shown when hand approaches the screen). The system also has CD-player, USB port, MP-3 functionality, auxiliary and SD-card input for external audio source and 6-loudspeakers.
'Sport Select' suspension and ESC Sport
For the first time, Volkswagen is offering electronically adjustable dampers in the Polo GTi. These form the core technology basis of the new, optional 'Sport Select' suspension, which for the GTi is always available in conjunction with the optional 'Sport Performance Kit' (sportier tuning covering a wide range of parameters, all at the push of a button). This can be adapted for use on the racetrack.
Engine and transmissions
The dynamic heart of the Polo GTi is a newly developed four-cylinder EA888 engine. The 2.0 litre version of this engine family is used to power the Golf GTi. The new Polo GTi is equipped with the third generation EA888 with a displacement of 1,798 cm3. The turbocharged direct injection petrol engine develops 141 kW of power. The 1.8 TSI engine achieves this power at between 4 300 and 6 200 rpm with 6-speed manual transmission and from 5 400 to 6 200 rpm with the 7-speed DSG transmission. These variations are due to technical differences in the design parameters of the transmissions.
The same applies to the torque values: the DSG delivers a maximum torque of 250 Nm between 1 250 and 5 300 rpm whereas the figures for the manual gearbox version are 320 Nm between 1 450 and 4 200 rpm. However, the differences in torque have no effect on the vehicle's performance figures (top speed and acceleration from 0-100 km/h).
Direct and manifold injection
The 1.8 TSI is a high-tech engine. It has a variety of new technologies such as the water-cooled exhaust gas routing to the turbocharger, which has been fully integrated into the cylinder head. This water-cooled integrated exhaust manifold makes a crucial contribution towards improving fuel consumption at full load. In addition, the TSI has variable valve timing with dual camshaft adjustment. In addition, valve lift on the exhaust side can be switched in two stages. This enables optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy and lower emissions. The four-cylinder engine also features a dual high-pressure injection system (200 bar) with direct and manifold injection. The freely selectable injection type results in lower particle emissions and also reduces fuel consumption in broad performance ranges.
Intelligent thermal management
A further highlight is the first use of a newly developed rotary-slide control in this engine for implementing an intelligent thermal management system. For example, it is now possible to completely block the intake of coolant into the engine during the warm-up phase or reduce it to a minimum, in order to get the engine up to operating temperature more quickly. Once the engine is running at normal temperature there is fully variable control of the coolant temperature, which can be quickly adjusted to the ideal level for the engine depending on the engine load and external conditions.
New turbocharger, less weight
The weight of the engine has been reduced and now has a new single-scroll turbocharger. A large portion of the savings came from the new thin-wall crankcase (3 mm thick), a weight-optimised crankshaft, the integrated exhaust manifold, a plastic oil pan and the use of aluminium screws. Total reduction: 5.4 kg.
Efficient agility. The 1.8 TSI engine is one of the most efficient and agile engines in its class. As with all the latest generation Polo, the GTi complies with the EU4 emission standard. Sustainability is the keyword where consumption and emissions figures are concerned: 5.6 l/100km (equivalent to 129 g/km CO2) in conjunction with the 7-speed DSG, and 6.0 litres (139 g/km CO2) with the 6-speed manual transmission. The new Polo GTi accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.7-seconds and top speed of 236km/h. These performance figures are similar for both 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG transmissions.
6-speed and 7-speed
The new Polo GTi comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission that offers good shifting accuracy. A 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) is also available as an option for maximum levels of efficiency, dynamics and comfort. The DSG transmission was specially configured for the 141kW GTi engine across a variety of individual parameters, characteristic curves and engine mappings.
Chassis and assistance systems
The sports suspension of the new Polo GTi has been completely retuned to deliver exceptionally agile and secure handling. The technical basis for this comes from a set-up with a McPherson-type front axle and a torsion beam axle for the rear wheels. The chassis of the GTi is 10 mm lower at the front and 15 mm lower at the rear compared with the less powerful Polo derivatives.
The chassis engineers have succeeded in reducing roll to a minimum to ensure that the new Polo GTi is agile and responsive. One of the factors responsible for this is the stronger anti-roll bar on the front axle. Replacing the 7-inch with 7.5-inch wide alloy wheels has also contributed to the improved handling; the newly designed 17-inch wheels come with 215/40 tyres. The vehicle's handling is further refined through the addition of a new steering system. Tyre pressure is monitored by the standard Tyre Monitoring Indicator. Safety on board the new Polo GTi is further enhanced by standard features such as ESC (Electronic Stability Control), Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and the Driver Alert System.
'Sport Select' suspension including 'Sport Performance Kit'
For the first time, Volkswagen is offering electronically adjustable dampers in the Polo GTi. These form the core technology basis of the new, optional 'Sport Select' suspension, which for the GTi is only available in conjunction with the 'Sport Performance Kit'. The basic tuning of this suspension is already sporty, but more comfortable than a conventional sports suspension. When the driver presses the 'Sport' button (in the upper area of the centre console) this activates an electro-mechanical switching valve in the dampers which alters their tuning from this sporty yet comfort-oriented basic setting to the stiffer characteristic of a true sports suspension. In addition, the 'Sport Performance Kit' gives the electromechanical power steering an even sportier characteristic. The same applies to the accelerator pedal response. At the same time, the engine noise heard inside the car also changes due to the sound actuator. And finally, if the new Polo GTi is equipped with the 7-speed DSG, the transmission changes automatically from D to S mode. This option will be available with the introduction of the manual transmission in the second half of 2015.
The Polo GTi is equipped with a fade resistant 16-inch brake system. The front wheels have ventilated brake discs with a diameter of 310 mm, and at the back 230 mm discs are used. The red brake callipers are a characteristic feature of the GTi.
As mentioned above, the Polo GTi is equipped with ESC, the electronic stability control system, as standard. It works like this: pressing the ESC button briefly switches off traction control (ASR), whereas pressing the button for more than three seconds activates the ESC Sport mode. This raises the ESC control threshold in delaying the intervention of the ESC. With XDS+ remaining in active mode it is possible to achieve outstanding performances especially on a racetrack. In the appropriate menu in the infotainment system, the driver has the option of directly selecting the ESC modes 'ASR off' and 'ESC Sport'. Other components of ESC are the anti-lock braking system (ABS), Hill Hold Assist, engine drag torque control (MSR), electronic differential lock (EDL) and the vehicle dynamics function XDS+ that is new in the Polo GTi.
XDS+. Technically, the XDS+ electronic differential lock is a functionality that is integrated in the electronic stabilisation programme (ESC) for improved vehicle dynamics. This system, a refinement of the XDS first introduced in Golf GTi and Scirocco, increases agility, using brake interventions on the inside wheels on both axles when cornering to reduce the required steering angle. In addition, XDS+ is effective over all conceivable road friction values, resulting in more precise handling. The familiar properties of XDS such as significantly reduced understeer and improved traction have also been further refined.
Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
A technological highlight of the new Polo GTi is the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. After a collision, it automatically brakes the vehicle to avoid secondary collisions or reduce their severity. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is triggered when a primary collision has been detected. It assures controlled handling of the car by the driver, even in case of automatic braking. The driver can "override" the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time, for example by noticeably accelerating. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking with greater deceleration than the system deceleration.
Driver Alert System
The Driver Alert System detects waning driver's concentration levels and triggers an acoustic warning for duration of five seconds. The message then appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break from driving. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once.
Exterior designs and features
The new Polo GTi is clearly recognisable as the sporty flagship derivative of the new Polo model range. Newly designed bumpers and typical GTi insignia such as distinctive wheels and the red strips in the radiator grille and the headlights or optional LED headlights give the car a dynamic appearance. The Polo GTi is also equipped with sports suspension as standard, lowering its stance on the road by 15 mm. With an exterior length of 3,983 mm and a width of 1,682 mm (1,901 mm including wing mirrors) the Polo (height: 1,450 mm) is one of the most compact sports cars on the market.
The GTi front section
The Polo GTi is available for the first time with optional LED headlights (dipped and main beam) daytime running lights. Hallmarks of the new Polo GTi include the red strip framing the radiator grille with its characteristic GTi honeycomb structure. The strip continues into the headlights. The lower, much bigger air intake has also acquired a newly designed honeycomb grille and is framed at each side by fog lights as standard (including cornering lights) and splitters - the spoilers used in motor sports.
These optional LED dual headlights, with their highly detailed avant-garde design, are unmistakable - even from a distance - due to their construction and prominent reflectors. The light of the LED headlights is even whiter and more similar to daylight than that of xenon headlights, and it is less straining to the eyes of drivers while driving at dawn or dusk or at night.
The GTi silhouette and rear section
The silhouette and the rear also boast sporty design features. The door-sills are distinctively flared, adding further to the Polo GTi's sporty appeal, along with the new 17-inch 'Parbolicca' alloy wheels with GTi styling through which the gleaming red brake callipers are visible. At the rear, the GTi roof spoiler, prominent roof antenna, tail light clusters in 'Dark Red', the black grained diffuser and the chrome dual exhaust tailpipes located on the left of the vehicle all continue the sporty theme.
The new Polo GTi is available in a choice of six colours, namely, Pure White, Flash Red and Black, Reflex Silver, Deep Black and Blue Silk.
Interior designs and features
The interior of the new Polo GTi is characterised by the newly "mixed" GTi insignias, including the new instrument cluster with its 3D tubular look (with GTi styling) and the redesigned layout of the controls on the redesigned centre console. On the upper control level, just beneath the air vents, is a control panel that has been expanded from seven to nine buttons; positioned in the middle and easy to reach, for instance, is the hazard lights switch. The interior specialists have also optimised the controls for the air conditioning system that is standard in the Polo GTi. They are arranged below the infotainment system. Chrome accents on the door trim panels, the air vents and around the gear shift console round off the sophisticated ambience.
Characteristic GTi insignias
The sporty design of the interior is accentuated by GTi red. The leather sports steering wheel, adapted from the Golf GTi, has contrasting red stitching, as do the gear lever and handbrake lever. The floor mats also feature borders with red beading. The seats are upholstered in Alcantara with leatherette inserts. The driver and front passenger have top-class heated sports seats. The front centre armrest with storage compartment, the instrument cluster with GTi design, black headliner and aluminium-look pedal caps complete the dynamic and exclusive interior ambience. As far as functionality is concerned, the extended range of standard equipment also includes footwell lighting, Driver Alert System, multifunction display 'Plus', and the 'Composition Media' CD/Radio infotainment system.
Progressive infotainment world
The Polo GTi's radio system has been re-conceptualised with the state-of-the-art technology. The 5.8-inch Composition Media system with colour touchscreen offers functions such as Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone and audio streaming, a proximity sensor (other menu details are shown when hand approaches the screen). The system also has CD-player, USB port, MP-3 functionality, auxiliary and SD-card input for external audio source and 6-loudspeakers.
MirrorLinkT brings apps aboard
MirrorLinkT is offered as an option and makes it possible to display and control the contents and functions shown on compatible Android smart phone on the touchscreen of the infotainment system. To avoid distracting the driver, only specially configured apps are accessible while driving. For example, Volkswagen offers apps which can access vehicle data such as engine speed, car speed and the fuel tank level. Apps may also be used that are not directly related to vehicle operation, such as internet radio and news services, provided that they support MirrorLinkT. To improve reception quality and at the same time reduce radiated emissions from the mobile phone, the smart phone may be wirelessly connected to the exterior antenna of the Polo GTi - via the 'Comfort' mobile phone interface. Simply place the phone in a storage compartment located in the centre console. The phone is charged via a USB connector.
These are the optional features that are offered with the new Polo GTi: LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, Panoramic sunroof, Park Distance Control (front and rear), Climatronic air-conditioner and Rear Assist Camera.
Retail Price (VAT & CO2 emissions tax included)
1.8 TSI 141 kW GTi DSG R326 400
The new Polo GTi comes standard with a 3 year/45 000km Service Plan, 3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.
Author: Chris Wall
A slightly tattooed motoring fanatic, photography nut and avid collector of knowledge. Use the search bar to navigate through the archives.