The 2007 Volkswagen Polo GTI hot small hatchback is now available to the British customers. While the vehicle will clearly not stun you with mind-numbing acceleration and its claimed maximum speed hardly rivals that of a mid-size crossover SUV, the new warmed-up Polo may be a very nice choice for a young person living in a densely populated urban area and planning to buy their first brand new car.
Launched earlier this year, the top-of-the-line car comes in 3 and 5 door trims and features a 1.8-liter 150 bhp 20 valve turbocharged motor making itself the most powerful among all Polos to date.
While, given the tiny car’s weight, the engine seems to be quite powerful (at least, on paper), it is only good enough to provide the car with top speed of 134 mph and acceleration from zero to 62 mph of 8.2 seconds. Not really impressive, is it?
As far as I understand, this is the same (however, remapped and, err, downgraded) engine that we have already seen in the Audi TT sports coupe.
The reason for downgrading the engine is, probably, as simple as that: the Audi TT was from the very beginning designed to be a sports car, while the Polo is still just a perked-up office chair on wheels, which is made to transport you from point A to point B and easily park it there, not to get you a first place on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Polo is just not capable of handling the little monster that is raving under TT’s hood. On the other hand, the choice of engine could have been dictated by some local tax and insurance regulations.
Well, to be honest, it must be said that Polo GTI’s main competitor -the Mini Cooper- is still 0.8 seconds slower and also has lower top speed, which is limited at 126 mph.
So, the little German car is still more than competitive, when it comes to the closest rival, just don’t expect it to be on par with some ‘real’ sports cars that have twice as large and three times as powerful engines growling softly under their hoods when they stand next to you waiting for the traffic light to turn green. They will just eat your tiny car for lunch.
The redesigned VW Polo GTI resembles a bit its bigger and more expensive sibling the Golf GTI hot hatch.
Just like the the big brother, the Polo GTI features ABS with HBA and ESP, driver’s, front passenger’s and front side airbags, electric windows and mirrors, central lock, air conditioning and, of course, a radio and CD player.
In the UK, the new VW Polo GTI can be ordered for as low as £14,810.
The list of its more serious competitors includes (but is not limited to) the Renaultsport Clio Mk III hot hatch, Peugeot 207 SW RC, and Ford Fiesta Zetec S, so there is still a good chance that the tiny car will have a hard time finding buyers.