The United States doesn’t get the Volkswagen Polo. There’s plenty of speculation as to why that is – some say it’s too close to the Golf in size and performance, while VW says it’s not interested in sending its subcompact to a market dominated by sport-utility vehicles. Whatever the case, we’re missing out on the amped-up Polo GTI, which makes 200 horsepower from its 2.0-liter turbocharged four banger. For the record, yes that’s the same engine in the Golf GTI, only detuned for duties in the smaller Polo.
With a bit of minor tweaking then, the Polo GTI should be a touch quicker than its advertised 0-100 Km/h (0-62 mph) time of 6.7 seconds. But if the above video from Automann-TV on YouTube is accurate, the little GTI is already quicker in that sprint – much quicker. Admittedly the times being recorded aren’t laser accurate, but the spritely front-driver is shown making a few blasts to the aforementioned mark in about six seconds flat. That would also suggest the hot hatch can nip 60 mph in just under six seconds, which is dead even with its bigger GTI brother.
There are a couple items to note with these runs, however. According to the video description, the Polo was wearing “sticky” tires. Also, the runs were carried out at a race track, where grip is often a bit better than what you’d find on the street. That will certainly help the front wheels get power to the ground, and the car was also running the DSG gearbox with traction control engaged. Surprisingly, runs with and without launch control engaged delivered similar performance. In other words, this latest Polo GTI definitely puts the hot in hot hatch.
Our colleagues at Motor1 UK recently had a go in the latest Polo GTI, and found it to be a definite step up in the fun department over the previous model. Not only that, but despite being a smaller car it actually has more cargo space than the Ford Focus, never mind the Fiesta.
Though we hate to admit it, Volkswagen’s case for not bringing the Polo stateside – never mind the GTI version – does make sense. American buyers are flocking to SUVs and crossovers en masse, though that still doesn’t stop us from really wanting some fresh blood in the subcompact performance segment.