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First glimpse of the new VW Polo GTI

 Published 25th May 2021
General Guides  New Launches 

With more than 18 million units built, the Volkswagen Polo is one of the world's most successful compact cars, regularly claiming a place among the top three best-selling model series. That number is set to rise even further over the next few months when the latest version hits the road.

The Polo may be small in size but that hasn't stopped it growing more features. The design, technology and specification has had a comprehensive update right across the range.

The bumpers and boot lid have been given a new look, as have the front and rear light clusters, which now come with LED technology as standard. Thanks to the new lighting design, the Polo has a distinctive daytime and nighttime look. This striking new light signature includes an LED strip along the radiator grille crossbar, together with the IQ.Light LED matrix headlights (optional/dependent on specification), which are also new for the Polo. The new Polo takes its cue from the ID models as well as the new Golf and Arteon, the first Volkswagens to have an LED crossbar at the front.

The new interior of the Polo boasts the Digital Cockpit, now fitted as standard, a redesigned multifunction steering wheel which also comes as standard, and new-generation infotainment systems including the online control unit (eSIM) and App-Connect Wireless (both dependent on specification). Tick the box for the Climatronic option in your Polo and you'll be able to operate the automatic air conditioner via touchscreen, exactly the same as larger models like the Tiguan, Passat and Arteon.

The new Polo also brings features that have previously only been available in higher vehicle classes. For example, there is now an optional assist system - IQ.Drive Travel Assist. Available for the first time in the Polo, this combines the new predictive Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist – both of which now come as standard in every Polo – to create a new assist system that enables partly automated driving. You won't find another car in this class that offers anything like the range of assist systems as the Polo.

All of this is available to order now, but you may want to wait a little while longer. Rather than choose a regular Polo, if you can hang on, VW has announced the brand-new Polo GTI will be revealed at the end of June. The announcement was due to coincide with the traditional GTI weekend meet on Lake Wörthersee, Austria until it was cancelled once again due to Covid restrictions. The meet may not have gone ahead but Volkswagen has still revealed the first peek of the new Polo GTI.

It's obviously based on the new Polo we just mentioned above and will become the premium version of the range. Traditionally, it is the sportiest model in the Polo series. With its extra power, dynamically tuned sports chassis, and expressive design, it really stands out from the crowd. It also fulfils the promise of exceptional performance with everyday usability you'd expect from a VW GTI.

We don't have any figures as yet but expect improvements over the current model. Not that the current model is any need of improvement. That one already offers around 200bhp, a 6.7 second 0-62 mph time, and top speed of 147 mph. It also features lowered sports suspension with a Sport Select setup as standard. This offers active damping with two defined modes: Sport and Normal.

Given the improvements in specification on the standard models it's unlikely the new Polo GTI has gone backwards. It's also likely to be a little bit quicker and a little bit more responsive, but only time will tell.

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