I bought myself a Volkswagen Polo GT TSI last October and have been driving it for the past nine months. This and the GT TDI have been satisfying the cravings of the Indian petrol head for a while now. And oh you can also add the Fiat Punto Abarth to that list. And then it happened. While I was happily enjoying the honeymoon period with my new car, Volkswagen launched the Polo GTI in India. VW however has omitted the Polo badge from the car, calling it only the GTI. So what exactly has this legendary three letter badge that first adorned a car in 1976 done to this little Vee Dub hatchback? A lot more than what meets the eye. Read on.
Volkswagen GTI Engine & Performance
Since the GTI is all about firepower, let get to the heart of the matter first. Volkswagen has plonked the 1.8 litre four cylinder petrol motor into the engine bay of the GTI. It’s the same engine that is also seen in the Octavia and Superb. Infact the GTI makes more power developing 192 horses between 5400 – 6200 rpm with max torque of 250 Nm that comes up between 1250-5300 rpm. These figures are just one part of the story. The way the car puts that power on the road is where the fun lies. You will be dumb struck the way this car accelerates from the line. Slot the 7 speed DSG into Sport model and put the pedal to the metal. The GTI just shoots forward and also gives you wheel spins in the first couple of gears. It holds gears till the red line before doing an upshift. And then you have the paddle shifters as well. Brake from high speeds and you can hear the blipping revs as the gearbox downshifts. It gets quite addictive to say the least. The GTI goes from 0 to 100 kph in 7.2 seconds and has a claimed top speed of 233 kph. From the way this car goes, we have no doubt on that claim. We just didn’t have the roads to verify it. The GTI is pretty similar to the GT TSI when in D mode. Shifts happen early making it easy to drive in city traffic. The downshifts are a bit jerky at times though. The throttle pedal is also less sensitive when compared to the S mode. The twin exhaust lets out a nice sporty note and though not loud, it does manage to add a bit of drama to the driving experience.The GTI excels in the handling department as well. Body roll is well controlled and there is fantastic grip from those 215/45 R16 section tyres. The suspension is on the firmer side but ride is still pretty compliant and the car doesn’t feel unsettled over bad roads. The steering too feels well weighted and offers good feedback. The GTI’s all round disc brakes have superb bite to control all that power.