At present, competition in the compact hot hatchback ambit is fierce. And there is no dearth of choices for buyers – with offerings like the Renault Clio RS, Peugeot 208 GTi, Ford Fiesta ST and of course the Volkswagen Polo GTI.
The German automaker has released details of the next generation model. And they seem to have taken a back-to-basics approach. For starters, buyers will be able to row their own boat via a six-speed manual transmission. That will be offered alongside the DSG option; the only choice Polo GTI buyers have now.
It will also ditch the 1.4-litre mill in favour of a 1.8-litre powerplant. That affords the GTI a power gain of 8kW and 70Nm, atop the outgoing model’s figure of 132kW and 250Nm.
According to Andile Dlamini, spokesman for Volkswagen South Africa, the dainty GTI will arrive here in the first half of 2015. Pricing is yet to be confirmed. In the UK, things start off at £19 800 (R354 632 at the latest exchange rate). Volkswagen’s website lists the current Polo GTI at R302 000.
Our market is unlikely to get the two-door version pictured here. Specification levels are still to be confirmed – but we do hope the Tartan upholstery choice makes its way into local units.
–Ignition Live Reporter