How hot would you want your chili sauce to be? Similarly, how hot would you want your hatchback to be? That is a question that we living in India would not be able to answer. For some 75 bhp would be enough. But for most none of the hatchbacks that are on sale would cut it. In fact, they would almost be like a cold coffee, nowhere near being even remotely hot. The time was here that we needed something hotter than our weather. And Volkswagen came out with the Polo GT TSi.
Now do not get me wrong, there have been hot hatchbacks in the past but name one that is not a collector’s item now? Take a moment to ponder on that… Yes exactly there are none. And then we get a car that has a dual clutch gearbox and traction control. Yes on a hatchback. This seems mighty revolutionary. I am impressed.
So the Polo GT TSi looks just like an ordinary Volkswagen Polo from the outside. No fancy things to make it look like Lightning McQueen. Sure, the rear spoiler is now gloss black and the external mirrors have black casings now. But nowadays people do all that to their regular Polos too. And the GT TSi has GT badging around the car. GT on the grille and on the boot with GT TSi on the C pillar. Hints that this car can outrun most cars on the road. Gulp.
Unlock the car from the remote key and open the door. You feel an instant weight and solidarity that the car oozes off. Close the door and you get the very Euro “thunk”. Look around and you’re greeted with high quality bits in the interior. The flat bottom steering looks something out of the Golf GTi or the Scirocco. The front seats have good support for the driver and it takes me no time to find the ideal driving position.
Twist the key and bring the 1.2 turbocharged engine to life. You will be greeted with a very silent note. Volkswagen probably did it to further hide the potential of the car. Cheeky. Shift the premium looking gear level in to “D” and let go of the brake. The car prods off without much ado. In city driving, one will never get the faintest of ideas what this car is actually capable of. Until you press the A-pedal hard. You better be awake.
Once you try to unleash the 105 BHP this car has by using the forces of your right foot on the accelerator, the car can demolish any speed limit at will. The lightning quick dual clutch DSG gearbox complements the engine superbly well and with both working in tandem, you can make real rapid progress. Be it on the B roads, or the expressways, or the short bursts in the city bustle, the gearbox is always in the right gear and you are always in the power zone and off you go. The speed at which all this happens is truly startling. And then you remember this is a sub 10 lac hatchback. Mind blown.
The Polo had some flaws that have been cured with this GT. The standard 1.2 MPi engine is horrific. It is a disgrace to the chassis. This 1.2 tsi engine sorts that beautifully. The steering was extremely light and very vague for the Sebastian Vettel in us. That has been sorted too in the facelift now with more weight added to it and much more feel as well. One can actually throw the GT tsi around in a corner and yet be fully aware at how much lock the wheels have and how much correction can be done in the case of overcooking it. All this makes the Polo a much more formidable package in the market today. But there is one problem that is not solved and that is the rear space. Now personally I did not even expect this to be solved since the body is still same as the normal Polo so the tight rear legroom still exists. But the petrolhead in you would never want to be there anyways.
The Polo GT Tsi then is a brilliant car. It is a small little car that goes 0-100 under 10 seconds. It can still give decent gas mileage when driven sanely (that is if you can control your right foot). It handles pretty well now. It has all the bells and whistles to keep your passenger entertained. There are some concerns about the reliability of the DSG gearbox and the aftersales service of VW has been questionable. But what’s there in life without a little twist? The Volkswagen Polo GT TSi is the little twist we all need in our lives.
Now to rob a bank…
And we’re not quite done here… Here is the video review of the Volkswagen GT TSi!