Volkswagen has launched a new range-topping Polo, which gains the option of a manual gearbox and is snapping at the heels of its Golf GTi in the speed stakes. This new hot hatchback can sprint to 62mph in a rapid 6.7 seconds and steals a number of styling cues from its larger Golf sibling, along with a high-tech media system.
Helping to give the Polo GTi its burst of speed is a punchy 189bhp turbocharged 1.8-litre engine mated to a six-speed manual. A seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox is also available, though unusually, this has slightly less low down muscle than the manual. Even so, this new Polo GTi should provide more than enough power for keen drivers.
Despite the speed on tap, this performance model returns strong claimed fuel economy of 50.4mpg in automatic form and 47.1mpg when kitted out with a manual. Car tax is also reasonably inexpensive, coming in at £110 per year for the automatic and £130 for the manual under the current system. Helping to justify its not insignificant price tag, the Polo GTi will feature numerous additions to differentiate it from lesser Polos, including chequered sports seats, lowered suspension for sharp handling and sporty styling details like 17-inch alloy wheels and chrome twin exhausts.
The new Polo GTi is available to order now with the first UK cars set to arrive in March 2015. Prices start at £18,850 for the three-door manual version, while opting for five doors adds £630 to the bill and the automatic gearbox adding a further £1,245.