Published On: Wed, Jun 12th, 2013

Polo GT TSI The Hot Hatch

polo 2Most of us like to take a dash through the streets to have that  little extra doze of adrenaline. Volkswagen the  German automobile major now presents in India the Polo GT TSI. The  GT label is derived from the Italian phrase gran turismo and TSI is the name for turbo-charged petrol engines from Volkswagen with direct petrol injection.  Everybody knows Volkswagen is the original and top-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, the biggest German automaker and the second biggest automaker in the world. Volkswagen has three cars in the top 10 list of best-selling cars of all time compiled by the website 24/7 Wall St that includes the Volkswagen Golf, the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Volkswagen Passat. Volkswagen ranks first in spending the most money of any automaker on research and development.

Polo GT TSI

Appearance

Externally, there is nothing novel  in terms of design to distinguish this car. There is the GT badging in the bonnet grille, the GT TSI sticker on the C-pillar and the chrome GT TSI badge at the bottom of the hatch door. In fact, the only differentiator is the conspicuous absence of the Volkswagen and the Polo badges. By the way  the polo badge is absent. Inside the luxurious cabin also there are some very finer changes. To give you the feel of  a high performance car, there is also the drilled aluminium inserts for the brake and accelerator pedals. The dual tone interior is retained but this car gets Superior ‘Milan’ TitanSchwarz fabric upholstery and apparently to boost the sporty imagery of the car, the seats also get contrast white stitching and slightly better bolstering on the sides. The air-con system is also improved  and the vents get a chrome touch.  The gear lever is with the polished aluminium base is neatly incorporated into the GT TSI’s centre console. The regular gear shift positions (P, R, N, D) apart, there is a sports mode with an option to operate it in triptronic manual mode (+/-).  So the drawback is that  the Polo GT TSI  zooms past you, we won’t blame you for not noticing it at first. You have to drive one to feel the performance.

Engine

Volkswagen  has earlier attempted to bring a powerful hatch with Polo 1.6 L, but this time it is much better. VW, this time has included more high-tech technology to give the hatch a superior edge. The Indian customers are very demanding about fuel economy. The engine is a powerful  four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI engine, which is the smaller sibling of the 1.4L TSI of the Jetta.  To make it more exciting Polo GT TSI is  paired this engine with the famous 7-speed DSG gearbox in the Polo GT TSI. The turbocharged engine produces a peak power of 105 PS a good 30 PS more than the regular Polo. While comparing with elder sibling, the 1.4 litre Jetta, it is just 17 PS less. The Polo engine feels very calm and composed even you rev it a little harder. Not that it just powerful, The Polo GT TSI’s engine is tuned to be a responsible performer. There is more power, lesser emissions and increased fuel economy. The power delivery is linear. The torque available is also packed into the low and mid-range. The engine rpm-meter shows the redline start at 6,000 rpm going all the way to the 8,000 mark. But the gearbox doesn’t let the needle stray beyond the 6,000 rpm mark.

Performance

You will be amazed by the amount of power of power that is available with this car and how quickly it is delivered. There is no lag and the engine responds quiet well, as said earlier the power delivery is very linear. The turbo responds in double quick time. Peak torque of 175 Nm is available from a low 1,500 rpm and stays on till 4,100 rpm. Ideally stay in the 2000-4000 rpm band and keep the power for some fireworks.  The  resultant acceleration is drastic but certainly a big change.

The powerful engine is coupled with a super efficient  7-speed direct-shift gearbox. This dual clutch gearbox of VW is built around the dual-sequential principle where one clutch works the odd-gears and a second one engages the even gears, this direct-shift gearbox surprises with the speed at which it shifts up. So, while one clutch is engaged, the other is on standby to engage the next gear and the shift time is said to be barely 10 milliseconds. The shift speed is quite visible while you drive in triptronic mode.  The shift is so quick and the gear box selected the next higher gear in an overtaking manoeuvre without any loss of power. The ESP and the hill climb function   make the car extremely safe to ride.

In contrast with the manual gearbox, where any change in gear will lead to an rpm of minimum 1000, this does not happen with the 7-speed direct-shift gearbox. In Sport mode, the Polo GT TSI’s power train becomes a bit livelier, with the gearbox staying in gear longer all the way to 6,000 rpm, both in triptronic mode and in fully auto sport mode.

 Ride Quality

The suspension of the new Polo GT TSI has been tuned  softly and it ensures comfortable ride in the bumpy Indian roads. The soft suspension will dilute the bumps and you will not know the hard road. The suspension of PoloGT  TSI was tweaked for improved ride dynamics. The suspension does tend to harden up at high speeds.  The steering is direct and quite precise, though a bit more feel would have been welcome. The new Polo GT TSI runs on the same 185/ 60 R15 tyres that the current Polo variants sport. The Polo GT TSI is available only in Highline trim which means it gets all the bells and whistles VW can offer on its hatchback.

Verdict

VW is starting a new war  in the hot hatch segment and with virtually currently  rival, the GT is the sole car available. VW has priced the Polo GT TSI at Rs 7.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) The Polo GT TSI is an amazing car to ride.  It is fast and comfortable and breeze to handle around the corners. It’s a good car to for city rides and with improved mileage, it will have enough takers. Are you looking for an elegant sporty car, there is no looking beyond this.

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Polo GT TSI The Hot Hatch