Volkswagen Polo GTI : The Evolution of hot hatch version of Polo

The Volkswagen Polo GTI is one of the most loved hot hatchbacks in the world. It is agile, offers you a good build quality as well as a comfortable cabin. Although GTI is the highest-performance version of the regular Polo, It is relatively new as compared to the regular Polo.

The Volkswagen Polo has been produced by the German Automaker Volkswagen since 1975 but the Volkswagen Polo GTI marked its debut in 1995 with a 1.6 litre N.A engine. Time flies and the 2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI is all set for the global debut next month. But before that, let’s dive into the history and evolution of the Volkswagen Polo GTI.

The First Polo GTI

After the production of the Volkswagen G40(also known as Volkswagen Polo GT G40 ) ended in 1994, Volkswagen decided to launch the first GTI-badged Polo in a limited batch of just 3000. It was released in 1995 and available only in left-hand drive with a 1.6 litre N.A engine which produces 118 bhp of power and 152 N-m of peak torque. The engine was mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

The first polo GTI launched in 1995

The GTI Discontinued for a while.

With the introduction of the 2002 Polo, the GTI model was discontinued. However there was a GT model launched, featuring the same 1.9 TDI engine found in the siblings of Polo – the Skoda Fabia vRS ( the first exclusively diesel hot hatch, having no petrol equivalent ) and SEAT Ibiza FR. The 1.9 TDI engine producing 128 bhp and 310 N⋅m of peak torque was mated to a 6-Speed manual gearbox.

 SEAT Ibiza FR and Skoda Fabia vRS Mk1

Volkswagen had discontinued its Polo GTI to focus on the production SEAT Ibiza FR and Skoda Fabia vRS. Basically, these 2 hatchbacks compensated for the lack of Polo GTI.

Re-introduction of the Polo GTI

The GTI was reintroduced in 2006 and this time the Mk4 Polo GTI

After 4 years of halt, The GTI was reintroduced in 2006 and this time the Mk4 Polo GTI came back with a vengeance. It was powered by a 1.8L TSI motor with 150 hp of power and 162 N-m torque. This is the same engine that had been used in everything from the Mk4 Volkswagen Golf GTI to the Audi A6.

Although faster than the past Polo GTI versions, the 2006 Mk4 Polo GTI was still behind when compared to its rivals, most of which were then nudging 200 hp. This led Volkswagen to quickly beefing up the Polo further to create the Polo GTI Cup Edition. The Polo GTI Cup Edition had 177 bhp, 29 bhp more than the standard Polo GTI. The standard Polo GTI model completes 0–100 km/h in 8.2 seconds, but in the Cup Edition completes 0–100 km/h 7.5 seconds. However, the best is yet to come.

2010 Polo GTI Mk5

The Mk5 Polo GTI was launched in 2010 and this time was powered by VW’s award-winning 1.4-litre TSI engine which produces 180 bhp of power and 250 N-m of torque. The Mk5 Polo GTI was also 7.5% lighter than its predecessor and with an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.9 seconds.

The Mk5 Polo GTI was launched in 2010

After 5 years ie. in 2015 the Mk5 Polo GTI recieved a facelift.It featured a new 1.8-litre TSI which had been developed by Audi. It produced 190 bhp and was capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds. It came standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox, unlike its predecessor which was only available with a 7-speed DSG.

The 6th gen Polo GTI launched in 2017

The Mk6 Polo GTI was launched in 2017

The Mk6 Polo GTI was launched in 2017. This time it was powered by a slightly detuned version of the 2.0-litre TSI engine from the Mk7 Golf GTI. It produced 197 bhp and was capable of getting to 60 mph in under 6.7 seconds. It was launched with only 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission available. Along with the engine, the GTI version came standard with lowered suspension, GTI badges, sporty steering, GTI bumpers, 17 inch wheels, bigger brakes, red brake callipers, twin exhausts, red stitching, and a roof spoiler.

In year 2021, The GTI is now ready for the global debut of its 6th gen facelift at the end of June 2021.

Leave a comment