The Hot Hatch battle is now heating up in India, with the recent ambitious showcase of the Polo GTI at the Delhi Auto Expo!
The Polo GTI is the weapon, err… the hatch, that is going to dethrone various cars of different segments in India! Its arrival was eminent, with the huge success of the Polo GT TSI and TDI. Volkswagen says that 30% of its sales of Polo have been achieved by the GT models. The needs of this niche market, that we call “enthusiasts” were further catered to by the Abarth Punto and 595 Competizione.
The GTI however, is a pure Hot Hatch in its truest sense (unlike the Polo GT)! And if things go well for the enthusiasts in this mileage obsessed country, we may probably witness the launches of Ford Focus ST/RS, Renault Megane Sport and Honda Civic Type R within a few years! (Quite ambitious, but we all love to dream, don’t we?)
This little beast is powered by an all new turbocharged 1.8 litre TSI motor, producing a massive 192 HP and 250 Nm of torque. Power is delivered via a 7-speed DSG gearbox; though internationally the GTI also comes with a manual option that takes the torque to a deadly 320 Nm. However, Volkswagen will not feature the manual box in India, which is quite disappointing. The extra torque may not affect the 0-100 sprint, with both cars posting an astonishing 6.7 sec; but that extra torque would definitely be a cherry on the cake with all the fun factor in a manual stick!
Volkswagen has planned to sell only the 3-door version in India, which is a bit surprising, considering the “practicality” issues of Indian families. Although it does add a bit more character and flare to the car’s personality. The GTI is essentially a Polo, that has been hunkered down and stiffened to handle that powerful TSI motor. The first of many changes is the lowering of the suspension, which gives the car a low and sleeker stance. VW has also added a brake based limited-slip-differential, and 17-inch rims with low profile tyres. All these changes together bestow upon the Polo, some amazing handling dynamics.
In terms of design, there are aggressive new bumpers, a signature GTI honey-comb grill, a sexy dual exhaust tip, and a small spoiler. The red lining on the front grill makes it look subtly ferocious. The GTI also features an all new headlamp housing, which contains the DRLs. This 3-door hatch is definitely going to turn heads wherever you go! Although, it can also be mistaken as a heavily modified regular Polo by the “common man” of India.
The Polo GTI is definitely a brilliant car, but one major flaw will be its price tag. Volkswagen estimates a tag of over 20 lakhs; and honestly, that’s a heck load of money for a small hatch. But considering the way it sprints, handles, and how it makes you feel while driving, it will definitely win over the enthusiast customers!