The Volkswagen Polo is a “supermini” class car that has been in production since 1975 as a smaller and cheaper alternative to the Volkswagen Golf. It wasn’t until 1994 that Volkswagen decided to move the GTI moniker to the smaller car to create a compact hot hatch. It offered a fun driving experience for fans of the brand who were unable to afford the larger and more expensive GTI. Since that first model debuted, there has been a Polo GTI in every generation of the car’s life. The Mk V model that is currently being phased out for the new Mk VI car is powered by a 1.4-liter TSI engine that uses both a supercharger and a turbocharger. The all-new 2015 Polo GTI will discard that engine for a more modern and more powerful unit.

Now we don’t have a lot of details aside from the fact that this machine will be revealed at the upcoming 2014 Paris Motor Show. Volkswagen was kind enough to bump us a big pile of photos to get prepared, and we can make some pretty good educated guesses about what you will find under the hood.

To get a good look at this pocket-sized performance machine, just hit that jump and check out all our photos. We also have a full rundown of what you should be looking for when it gets officially announced with all the specs in a few days.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

  • 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    189
  • Torque @ RPM:
    236
  • Displacement:
    1.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    148 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    20000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
- image 569129
2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
- image 569130
2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
- image 569134

Volkswagen is sticking to the same “GTI” design cues that it fitted to the larger Golf. That means the Polo gets a new front end that is a bit more aggressively styled, there are larger vents and grilles, and the signature red-stripe across the grille is present and accounted for. In an interesting visual touch, the subtle red stripe actually extends into the headlight housing. This one simple change helps to elongate the nose laterally and it makes the whole car look a little lower and a lot wider.

The new LED-enhanced taillights make the back stand out a bit more, and a roof spoiler and dual exhaust outlets with a modified rear end let everyone behind you know that you have much more than a standard Polo. Rolling stock has also been upgraded, and the Polo GTI comes with a rather handsome set of dual-colored rims. Sticking out from those new wheels are some sporting red brake calipers.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 3,972 MM
Width (without mirrors) 1,682 MM
Height 1,453 MM

Interior

2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Interior
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2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI Interior
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2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Interior
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GTI interior has long been my favorite of any car. For all intents and purposes, it appears that the Polo GTI is getting the exact same interior treatment as its larger brother. That means aggressively bolstered sports seats, and a black leather steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake lever, all held together with contrast red stitching. The seats are covered in Volkswagen’s legendary “Interlagos” plaid interior pattern, making them the most attractive seats you can get in any car on sale today.

The rest of the interior is typical Volkswagen. Everything is impeccably well-built and designed, it just all happens to be black and boring.

Drivetrain

2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI Drivetrain
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The Polo GTI will get its motivation from a revised 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. Thanks to some help from a turbocharger, this little engine produces 189 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. To give you an idea of just how powerful that is, this Polo GTI has almost 50 more horsepower than my Golf TDI and about the same amount of torque. Yes, this gasoline 1.8-liter can match my 2.0-liter diesel for torque.

Expect a 0-to-60 run to take about 6.7 seconds with the top speed coming in at 148 mph.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 1.8-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output 189 HP
Torque 236 Lb-FT
0 to 60 mph 6.7 seconds
Top speed 148 mph

Prices

2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
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There are no quoted prices yet, but don’t expect too much of a price premium over the previuous generation car.

Competition

Ford Fiesta ST

2014 - 2015 Ford Fiesta ST High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 518719

When thinking about competitors to such a small car, the Ford Fiesta ST is the first to pop into mind. This little rocket is powered by a 1.6-liter, turbocharged engine with 197 horsepower. It does suffer from a big lack of torque though; its quoted rating of 202 pound-feet is 34 down on the Polo. The Fiesta is nice to look at, and it comes in a range of wild colors that make it feel racier than a family hatch has any right, but this aggressive look may be too much for some. Volkswagen has always excelled in quiet and refined designs, the Polo is no exception to that.

If there is one main feather in the Fiesta’s cap that lets it trump the Polo GTI, it is availability. Volkswagen has yet to bring the little hatch to US shores in any form, but you can waltz into your local U.S. Ford dealer and take home a shiny new Fiesta ST today.

Fiat 500 Abarth

2015 Fiat 500 Abarth High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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No talk of micro-sized horsepower producers would be complete without the mention of the 500 Abarth. This little car has been stealing hearts and destroying ear drums with its mighty bark since it first arrived a few years ago. It is not as well built or as comfortable as the Polo. It isn’t even as powerful, with its tiny 1.4-liter turbo only producing 160 horsepower, but it has style and sportiness in spades. There are few cars that are as loud, as angry, or as shouty about their performance potential as the Fiat 500 Abarth, and that makes it a little special and fun in a way the German could never be.

It may not be very good at being a car, but the Fiat 500 Abarth is very good at being a tool to create smiles. In a lot of ways, that makes it the best hot hatch in this list.

Conclusion

2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
- image 569133

Volkswagen has been the king of hot hatchery since the first GTI arrived decades ago. The new Polo GTI shows that Volkswagen still has what it takes to make an interesting and fun car without sacrificing everyday usability. The Polo GTI may not be as interesting to look at as its competitors, but its low-profile look is handsome, and should keep you off the radar of the local authorities if you try to hoon it up a bit. It has a stunning interior that is completely modern while paying homage to some retro roots, and it’s built like a tank. When you top off that whole package with a small gas motor that makes diesel levels of torque, you have a surefire winner.

This thing would be pretty close to perfect if it was only available in the United States. Get to work on that Volkswagen.

  • Leave it
    • Not very exciting looking for a hot hatch
    • No U.S. availability
    • Interior trim and dash is very dark and boring
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