The hot hatch game has come a long way in the last few years here in India. What started as a humble beginning with the Fiat Palio 1.6 has now come to a point where several global manufacturers are contemplating bringing high-performance small cars for the Indian market. Volkswagen, for one, has greatly marked its presence in this enthusiasts-fuelled segment with cars like the Polo GT twins. Now, the German carmaker has notched up several levels by officially bringing the Polo GTI to India.
Globally, the Polo GTI is offered in either two or four-door form. Interestingly, VW chose to bring the sportier and less practical 2-door model for the Indian market. Nevertheless, this high-performance model can be differentiated as the flagship model with the help of different bumpers and typical GTI insignia such as distinctive wheels and the red strips in the grille and the headlights. The sportier suspension setup that has lowered the stance on the road also helps in creating a visual impact.
The silhouette and the rear also boast sporty design features. The door sills are distinctively flared, adding further to the Polo GTI's appeal, along with the new alloy wheels with GTI styling. At the rear, the GTI roof spoiler, tail light clusters in 'Dark Red', the black grained diffuser and the chrome dual exhaust tailpipes continue the sporty theme.
The interior of the Polo GTI may look a lot like the regular Polo GT models but in here, there are several special details to remind you that you’re inside something that is truly a hot hatch. The tartan pattern of the seat upholstery, the sportier centre console and the GTI steering wheel are some of the nicer looking bits inside the cabin.
One of the bestselling small hot hatchbacks in Europe, the Polo GTI for India is the most powerful car in its segment by a long margin. Under its hood lurks a 1.8-litre TSI engine which has been paired to a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox. This globally acclaimed motor makes 190bhp of power and gives the Polo GTI some serious performance advantage over its main rival, the India-spec Fiat Punto Abarth which makes close to 145bhp. The 7-speed DSG, too, is a familiar unit and is undoubtedly better than the rubbery 6-speed manual in the Punto Abarth when it comes to outright performance.
The existing Polo GT twins – the GT TSI and the GT TDI have been in the market for quite a while now and are doing extremely well, thanks to a combination of good real world performance, efficiency and affordable prices. The upcoming Polo GTI, on the other hand, will be nowhere as accessible as the GTs since Volkswagen India will sell the GTI as a fully imported vehicle starting September this year