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VOLKSWAGEN: New 2022 Polo GTI revealed Hero Front

VOLKSWAGEN: New 2022 Polo GTI revealed

Following the reveal of the refreshed Polo back in April, Volkswagen has unveiled the refreshed Polo GTI. The hot hatch gets more power, an array of driver assistance features and several chassis tweaks over the standard Polo.

The new Polo GTI will go on sale later this year and is likely to cost little more than its rivals, starting from around £25,000, but UK prices and specifications have yet to be confirmed. When it arrives later this year, VW’s smallest GTI will go head-to-head with the popular Ford Fiesta ST and newly launched Hyundai i20 N performance hatchbacks.

The updated VW Polo GTI echoes the styling evolution of the standard Polo, inspired by the latest generation Golf, but with a more aggressive nose and wide GTI grille. This features a hexagonal pattern with two integrated LED daytime running lights stacked vertically either side. Like the bigger Volkswagen Golf GTI, the traditional red pin-stripe between its headlights is complemented by a full-width LED light strip. Similarly, the rear of the GTI also gains a new bumper and tail lights inspired by its larger sibling.

You’ll be able to tell the regular Polo and Polo GTI apart, thanks to the GTI’s red exterior detailing, the trademark ‘GTI’ honeycomb grille and larger 17-inch alloy wheels. Buyers can choose 18-inch alloys as an option, and one of five paint finishes: Deep Black Pearl Effect, Smoke Grey Metallic, Kings Red Metallic, Pure White Uni, and Reef Blue Metallic. The latter three colours can be combined with a contrasting black roof as a Roof Pack option.

Interior and technology

Inside, de rigueur tartan-trimmed sports seats and a GTI-embossed leather trimmed steering wheel are fitted, along with red contrasting trim inserts on the dashboard, door handle surrounds and centre console. A touch-sensitive switch panel is fitted above the gearstick, replacing the physical dials from the old car.

Standard technology includes VW’s Digital Cockpit Pro instrument cluster, via a 10.25-inch display with bespoke GTI graphics. An eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with wireless smartphone charging. A larger 9.2-inch display is available as an optional extra.

The GTI shares its underpinnings with the standard Polo, meaning a five-door body style which makes access easier for rear passengers. It also boasts a 351-litre boot, which is larger than the 292-litres offered by the Fiesta ST.

Engine and chassis

Up front is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 204bhp. A seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox is standard, sending power to the front wheels. With launch control, the Polo GTI sprints from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 149mph.

To ensure it's more agile than before, Volkswagen has fitted its XDS electronic differential as standard. This uses sensors to monitor whether one wheel is spinning faster than the other and can apply the brakes to counteract this and improve traction as you accelerate.

The GTI also sits lower than the regular Polo, with a 15mm reduction in ride height to help sharpen its cornering capability. It’s also light, with a kerb weight of just 1,286kg. Buyers will be able to spec optional adaptive dampers, adding what VW calls ‘Sport Select’ running gear, with several stiffened chassis components and four driving models. These include Eco, Normal and Sport, alongside an Individual mode that can be customised to the driver’s preferences.


As the flagship of the updated Polo range, the GTI gets more equipment than you’d expect in a supermini, especially when it comes to driver assistance systems. Included is the German carmaker’s ‘IQ.Light’ LED matrix headlights and ‘IQ.DRIVE’ Travel Assist semi-autonomous adaptive cruise control. It also gets cross traffic alerts, lane assist and autonomous emergency braking.

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By Wayne Gorrett

Wayne has been covering developments in the UK's automotive sector for over 10 years, providing news, reviews, first-drive impressions and opinion pieces for a number of print and web outlets in the UK and South Africa. A former marketing director, Wayne is based in a rural village near Winchester, Hampshire. You can follow him on Twitter: @WaynesWorldAuto Facebook: WaynesWorldAuto Instagram: WaynesWorldAuto