VW Polo GTI. Now powered by a 2-liter 200-horsepower, the Polo GTI appears well-equipped to shake up the hierarchy of city sports. Marginally more powerful than his predecessor - who was content with 192 hp - this new Polo GTI is nevertheless very (too) wise in the heat of the action. Its comfortable suspension openly favors stability over agility, its strong engine at low revs lacks brilliance above, while the management of its double-clutch gearbox seems to have been thought more for the ride than for a rally special. This Polo GTI appears more road than sport, as if it had been kindly requested not to overshadow the Golf, wearing the same acronym, or to leave room for a much more radical version of Polo, as this hypothetical declination R 300 hp. 4-wheel drive that the rumor continues to swell in our ears.
In Europe, the small sports segment is dominated on the premium side by the Mini Cooper S, and on the general side by the Ford Fiesta ST. It is mainly to the latter - of which 11,400 copies have been sold on the old continent, against 8,600 Polo GTI - that this Volkswagen intends to measure and cut back croupiers. And the window to achieve this could be short, since a new generation eagerly awaited this Ford Fiesta ST animated by a 3-cylinder 200 hp. should be commercialized in the first half of 2018.
While awaiting a possible even more powerful declination and, why not, 4 wheel drive, this GTI is the leading version of the 6th generation Polo launched in 2017, and developed on the platform MQBA0 released a few months earlier by the Seat Ibiza.
In addition to specific suspension settings (and the option of optional two-position damping), the GTI version is distinguished from the rest of the Polo range by its mechanics, a 4-cylinder 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine. injection of 200 hp. Contrary to what a quick glance at the spec sheet could suggest, it is not a deflated version of the block of the Golf GTI, but rather a performance a little further than the 'an Audi A4 Ultra. And the difference is important.
While the low-compression (9.6: 1) Golf block is more power and high-revving, with a large turbocharger whose response time is reduced thanks to the variable lift exhaust distribution ( valvelift type), which was originally developed for Audi has a high compression ratio (11.65: 1) and is content with a small turbocharger, while its variable lift is used on admission to reduce filling and losses by pumping at low load in favor of reduced consumption. As a result, if the torque curve rises to 1,500 rpm, the maximum power is fully developed at a speed worthy of a diesel engine: 4,400 rpm.
Likewise, this GTI polo does not take over the active locking differential proposed on the Golf (Performance version), it is content with the so-called XDS function using the braking system in a targeted way to limit the slippage of the wheel unloaded cornering.
LIFE ON BOARD
The first contact with the Polo GTI is excellent. Remarkably finished, the cabin is enhanced for this version of a 10.25-inch digital instrumentation block and an 8-inch touch screen that gives the whole a true modernity. But the essential is elsewhere: the GTI adds to the perfect position that offers any Polo, bucket seats - stretched with a tartan fabric like the original Golf GTI of 1976 - which ensure excellent support. For the rest, the habitability and the trunk are those of a Polo "normal", that is to say in the right average for the category.
NOTICE OF AUTO POINT
The Polo GTI is a very easy car to live and to drive. The controls fall perfectly under the hand, the suspension gently absorbs the corrugations of the coating, while the engine is available and vigorous at low speeds, which is also very suitable for the DSG6 box, the only transmission available for the launch of the model, which should however be proposed later with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Yet, just a straight line and a few clear turns to get to the obvious, the sport is still not his cup of tea. As his specs let him fear, the thrust of the engine makes a plateau past 4,400 rpm, which is a little short for a sports-oriented mechanics. The DSG6 box then: even in Sport mode, it almost always refuses to downshift during braking phases, which forces it to perform this maneuver during re-acceleration, causing response times and jerks. Finally, the direction, consistent, but informative, controls a chassis whose settings are outrageously privileged stability on agility.
As a result, regardless of the load transfer applied when entering the curve, the driver inevitably has to deal with the appearance of a progressive understeer as the grip limits approach, and a motor skill easily taken into account. in default at the end of tight curve. A behavior that has the merit of being easy to understand whatever the road conditions, but that does not distill the pleasure of driving that one is entitled to expect from a GTI, and yet provide its competitors whether it's the Fiesta ST, the DS3 Performance, or the Peugeot 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport. No longer for enthusiasts to wait for a hypothetical Polo R that could be shown not only more powerful, but above all much more radical.
Finish / Facilities
Impressive behavior / motor skills
Reactive DSG box
High weight and price
VW Polo GTI Specs & Price:
Engine: 4 cylinders direct injection turbo gasoline
Cylinder capacity: 1,984 cm3
Power: 200 hp from 4,400 to 6,000 rpm
Torque: 320 Nm from 1,500 to 4,400 rpm
Transmission: front wheels
Box: 6-speed dual clutch (soon manual too)
Dimensions: 4,067 x 1,751 x 1,438 mm
Safe: from 305 to 1079 l
0 to 100 km / h: 6.7 s
Speed: 237 km / h
Consumption: 5.9 l 134 g / km (540 € penalty)
Weight: 1,280 kg (6.4 kg / hp)
Price: starting from 28 920 €