Bigger engine, but not a lot of extra power...

Volkswagen’s most iconic model after legendary Beetle, the Golf became a performance hatchback all the way back in 1976, only two years after the nameplate was introduced. A popular model since day one, the Golf GTI inspired Volkswagen to design a higher performance version of the smaller Polo too. Although the first Polo GTi didn’t arrive until 1995, the model can trace its roots back to the first-generation G40 version. Following a limited-edition introduction in the 1990s, the GTI has become a regular member of the Polo family, and 2017 brought the latest-generation hatch into the spotlight.

Launched at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the latest Polo GTI is based on the latest, sixth-generation subcompact, also unveiled in 2017. Built on a new platform, it uses an updated design language based on the latest Golf and a redesigned interior that moves the new Polo into a higher class, closer to the premium market. More importantly, the new GTI gained a 2.0-liter engine instead of the old, 1.8-liter unit. On the flipside, if you were expecting a new Polo GTI with significantly more power, you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. But more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Volkswagen Polo GTi.

Exterior

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The small hatchback is now more athletic and employs modern styling cues

Just like the standard Polo, the GTI benefits from an evolutionary restyling that’s very similar to the larger Golf. The small hatchback is now more athletic and employs modern styling cues, but at the same time, it retains a familiar appearance.

The standard model’s more angular fascia was enhanced by means of a larger spoiler lip and intakes with honeycomb grilles on the GTI. The higher performance hatchback also gained foglamps as standard and the usual GTI badge and red stripe on the radiator grille. The optional LED headlamps feature brand-new red stripes that act as extensions of the grille trim. The front end is rounded off by C-shaped elements in the bumper that give the Polo a more aggressive look.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI AutoShow High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI AutoShow High Resolution Exterior
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The optional LED headlamps feature brand-new red stripes that act as extensions of the grille trim

Onto the sides, the GTI didn’t change much compared to the standard model. Notable features include matte black sill extensions, and the new 17-inch alloy wheels finished with high-sheen and black details. For the first time ever, the Polo can be equipped with optional 18-inch rollers.

Some changes are in store around back too, starting with the thick black frame of the tailgate. This, together with the two-piece black roof spoiler are inspired by the first-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI of the 1970s. Other features that set it apart from the standard model are the black diffuser-like element, the larger twin-exhaust pipe, and the standard LED taillights. Of course, the tailgate is adorned by a "GTI" badge.

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The color palette is limited to Pure White, Flash Red, and Deep Black Pearl Effect, but it also includes the brand-new Limestone Grey Metallic and Reef Blue Metallic.

Interior

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The typical red contrast stitching adds a splash of color on the steering wheel, gear shift lever, floor mats, and seats

As usual, the GTI’s interior is heavily based on the standard model, but there’s plenty to talk about here since the new Polo is brand-new on the inside. And it’s quite impressive too, from the new design features to all the new technology. Sporting a simple, more angular design, the new dashboard looks high tech and seems based on larger, more premium Volkswagens. The new infotainment system, available in 6.5 or eight inches, sits right in the middle and is flanked by A/C vents and controls. The new Polo is also the first of its kind to have an all-digital instrument cluster, as well the company’s second-generation Active Info Display.

Tech-wise, Volkswagen introduced a host of new gadgets that moved the Polo up the premium ladder. The hatchback now comes with Front Assist area monitoring system including City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring as standard, while Adaptive Cruise Control is optional. ACC also offers a Stop & Go function with the dual-clutch transmission. Available features include Blind Spot Detection lane change system with Rear Traffic Alert and the semi-automated Park Assist system for exiting parking spaces.

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2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI AutoShow High Resolution
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The standard steering wheel is wrapped in leather, while the sports seats have a "Clark" plaid pattern

The new Polo also sports a longer wheelbase, which translates into more legroom for both front and rear passengers. Trunk volume also grew by 25 percent, from 280 to 351 liters.

Moving over to GTI-specific items, the cabin theme revolves around black, red, and grey colors, complemented by chrome inserts. The typical red contrast stitching adds a splash of color on the steering wheel, gear shift lever, floor mats, and outer seat surfaces.

The standard steering wheel is wrapped in leather, while the sports seats have a "Clark" plaid pattern on the inner surfaces in red dark grey, and light grey stripes, paired with black squares. Those who don’t fancy cloth upholstery can order the optional black leather.

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As usual, the hatchback comes with exclusive GTI graphics in red, white, and black

The dashboard panel can be had in Deep Iron Glossy or Velvet Red, both contrasting colors to the black instrument cluster. As usual, the hatchback comes with exclusive GTI graphics in red, white, and black, as well as GTI logos on the door sills. Other standard features include white ambient lighting and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.

When it comes to options, you can order the largest panoramic sunroof in this class, as well as a 300-watt sound system from Beats.

Drivetrain

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Unlike the previous Polo GTI, which used a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the new hatchback gets its juice from a slightly bigger, 2.0-liter four-banger

The new Volkswagen Polo is available with no fewer than eight engines, including gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, but none is as potent as the GTI. But unlike the previous Polo GTI, which used a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the new hatchback gets its juice from a slightly bigger, 2.0-liter four-banger.

The unit is rated at 200 PS (197 horsepower), which is a minor, eight PS (eight horses) increase over the previous generation. Not much of an upgrade at first glance, but the new Polo GTI is not only lighter, but also benefits from improved dynamics and a brand-new suspension. Torque is actually identical at 320 Nm (240 pound-feet).

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As far as performance goes, the new GTI is just as quick as the previous model

As far as performance goes, the new GTI is just as quick as the previous model. Specifically, hitting 62 mph from a standing start takes 6.7 seconds. Top speed increased from 235 to 237 km/h (146 to 147 mph), but there’s a big change you won’t feel the difference.

There are changes in the transmission department too. While the outgoing model had a seven-speed DSG, the new GTI uses a six-speed DGS. A six-speed manual is also in the cards in 2018.

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The optional Sport Select suspension configuration adds active dampers and a sportier setup

The standard suspension system is obviously sportier than the regular Polo, but the optional Sport Select configuration adds active dampers and a sportier setup. With this suspension, the driver can vary the characteristics of the active dampers using the four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. Each enables the driver to make individual adjustments that have direct effects on vehicle handling. Along with its effects on the Sport Select suspension, the profile that is selected also modifies the steering, engine characteristic, and gearbox control.

All told, while the new GTI should be a sportier hatchback thanks to the new, adjustable suspension system, it’s a bit disappointing that performance figures are unchanged.

Safety

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Just like the regular Polo, the GTI can be equipped with a wide range of safety and assistance systems

Just like the regular Polo, the GTI can be equipped with a wide range of safety and assistance systems. First on the list is Blind Spot Monitor, which alerts the driver to vehicle located in the blind spots alongside the car and to vehicles approaching from the rear. This system also adds Rear Traffic Alert, which makes reversing out of parking spaces easier and safer. Next up is Driver Alert System, a technology that detects waning concentration of the driver and emits an audible warning for five seconds, along with displaying a message on the instrument cluster. The warning recommends a break from driving and is repeated if the car isn’t stopped within the next 15 minutes.

The Polo also comes with Automatic Post-Collision Braking, which is a standard feature. This system can help avoid secondary collisions after an initial crash by braking before the driver can react. Adaptive Cruise Control and Front Assist, two already familiar systems in modern cars, are also offered. Another feature is City Emergency Braking, which comes in handy in heavy and slow traffic. It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (19 mph) and applies the breaks in an impending collision with a vehicle ahead that is moving or stationary.

Finally, there’s Park Assist, which automatically guides the Polo GTI into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, and it can also reverse out of parallel parking spaces. The system is activated by pressing a button on the centre console.

Prices

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2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for the new-generation Polo GTI will definitely increase compared to the outgoing model, which retails from around €22,500 (around $26,850 as of September 2017) in Germany and from £19,500 (about $26,290) in the United Kingdom.

Competition

Ford Fiesta ST

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2018 Ford Fiesta ST High Resolution Exterior
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Redesigned for 2018, the Fiesta ST is also an evolutionary redesign, but unlike the Polo, it has more new features to brag about. Up front, the redesigned grille reminds of the larger Focus, while the bumper is decidedly more aggressive to look at. The rear end boasts the biggest change, with the vertical taillights having been replaced by horizontal units. Unlike the Polo GTI, the Fiesta ST is also available in a two-door configuration. The two cars are radically different under the hood too, as Ford ditched the four-cylinder in favor of a three-pot. But don’t let that fool you, the turbocharged, 1.5-liter unit cranks out a solid 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque, which makes the Fiesta ST just a quick as the Polo GTI from 0 to 62 mph. Top speed, on the other hand, is lower at 130 mph. Pricing is likely to start from around £19,000 in the United Kingdom.

Read our full review of the Ford Fiesta ST.

Toyota Yaris GRMN

Gather Round Hot-Hatch Fans, Toyota Will Unveil a 210-HP Yaris Soon High Resolution Exterior
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Gather Round Hot-Hatch Fans, Toyota Will Unveil a 210-HP Yaris Soon High Resolution Exterior
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Launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the Yaris GRMN is Toyota’s first high-performance hatchback and its long awaited answer to the Polo GTI and Fiesta ST. Although heavily based on the standard model deisgn-wise, the GRMN stands by means of a more complex aerodynamic package and race-inspired wheels and rear diffuser. It’s not overly aggressive, but it a decent, somewhat menacing iteration of a small hatch otherwise known as a reliable A-to-B traveling device. The Japansese city car is a solid proposition performance-wise, using a supercharged, 1.8-liter four-pot rated at 212 horsepower and hitting 62 mph in 6.3 seconds. On the other hand, its cabin is nowhere near as fancy as the Polo’s and lacks many of Volkswagen’s latest features. For instance. Pricing should be similar, below the £20,000 mark.

Read our full review of the Toyota Yaris GRMN.

Peugeot 208 GTI

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2013 Peugeot 208 GTi High Resolution Exterior
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Often overlooked in favor of the more popular offerings from the German firms, the Peugeot 208 GTi is actually a traditional hot-hatch in Europe, having its roots in the 205 GTI of the 1980s. Based off the 208 that was introduced in 2012, the French hot-hatch is significantly older than the competition, but it’s still appealing design-wise. While not as funky as the new Fiesta ST, the large grille with chrome inserts, the extremely short engine hood, and the sculpted sides give it a sporty character that its competitors can’t replicate. The interior isn’t bad either, with the multi-tier dashboard and the instrument cluster placed further behind the steering wheel making it stand out in any crowd. Drivetrain-wise, the 208 GTi is as potent as any proposition in this niche. Powered by a turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, it comes with 197 horsepower and 203 pound-feet on tap. All told, it isn’t as powerful as the Yaris GRMN, but it’s on par with the Golf GTI and Fiesta ST. Pricing starts from £20,950 in the U.K., making the most expensive vehicle in this list.

Read our full review of the Peugeot 208 GTI.

Conclusion

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Overall, the new Polo GTI is a solid hot-hatch, especially if you don’t want to pay the premium to get the larger Golf GTI. It’s modern and sporty on the outside and surprisingly premium on the inside, where it wins against every other offering in this niche. The bigger engine and the new suspension system are also among the strong points that come with the new hatch, but I’m rather disappointed about the power rating of VW’s latest GTI. Sure, 197 horsepower is nothing to sneeze at, but the new GTI is only as powerful as most of its competitors and falls behind the new Toyota Yaris GRMN by a significant margin. More upsetting is the fact that it’s almost a half-second slower. To summarize, if you want performance, you’re better off with the Yaris GRMN. You should go with the Polo GTI if you’re interested premium appointments and state-of-the-art technology.

  • Leave it
    • * Not the quickest of the bunch
    • * Rather evolutionary redesign
    • * Same performance as previous model

References

2018 Volkswagen Polo

2018 Volkswagen Polo Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Polo.

Volkswagen Tries to Impress with the CROZZ II – Because One Ugly SUV Wasn't Enough High Resolution Exterior
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Read the latest Volkswagen news.

Press release

Perfectly balanced GTI dynamics. It is the world’s best known identifier for sporty compact cars: GTI or Gran Turismo Injection, inseparably associated with Volkswagen. Now a new Volkswagen GTI makes its debut on the market: the next Polo GTI1, featuring a power output of 147 kW / 200 PS1, DSG as standard and a top speed of 237 km/h . For the first time, Volkswagen will now have three GTI models in its model range: the up! GTI1 (85 kW / 115 PS) that will be launched in 2018, the iconic Golf GTI2/3/4/5 (169 kW / 230 PS and 180 kW / 245 PS) and the new Polo GTI. One trait they all share is their perfectly balanced dynamics. This is the secret to the success of the GTI idea – an alliance of high powertrain agility, low weight, tight yet comfortable running gear, safe front-wheel drive and an ergonomically optimal seating position behind a grippy sport steering wheel. In addition to these characteristics are GTI insignia such as the typical red stripe on the radiator grille and the legendary ’Clark’ plaid seat upholstery, all of which makes each Volkswagen GTI an original in its class.

From Polo GT to Polo GTI. The up! is now available as a GTI for the first time. It feels like the Golf has always been available as a GTI. It all began in 1976. Now the seventh generation of the Golf GTI is on the starting blocks, but the Polo has also been impressive as a Gran Turismo for decades. Initially without fuel injection, the history of the sporty Polo began in 1980 with the first GT. The Polo GT G40 was already endowed with the dynamism of a GTI in 1987, with a top speed of 200 km/h. Then 1998 saw the launch of the first Polo GTI with 120 PS. In 2010, its power was boosted to 180 PS, and in 2014 it was upped to 192 PS. In 2017, the new Polo GTI now breaks the symbolic 200 PS barrier. To accompany the engine’s high performance are the standard sport suspension and the optional Sport Select suspension. Thanks to changing over to the modular transverse matrix (MQB) and increased length, wheelbase and width, the new Polo GTI is significantly more spacious. The five-seat car is also equipped with a 305 to 1,079 litre boot – the previous model had a boot capacity of 204 to 952 litres – so that the new Polo GTI is well-prepared for long journeys and challenging transport tasks.

GTI front styling. Front end features include an independent bumper with integrated spoiler lip and fog lights as standard. There is, too, one of the classic insignia GTI at the front: the red stripe in the radiator grille. An exclusive feature in the GTI is optional LED headlights with a red winglet; stylistically these are extensions of the red stripe of the radiator grille. Naturally, its other insignia include the GTI logo as well as the air intakes with a honeycomb structure – at the top in the radiator grille and below this in the bumper. At the bottom, the new Polo GTI is also differentiated from the less powerful Polo versions by C-shaped black high-gloss panels in the bumper.

GTI rear section. The Polo GTI can also be identified by typical GTI characteristics at the rear. Black is also a stylistic element here; a trait that has carried over from the first Golf GTI of 1976 to the new era. Black was used in places such as the area around the rear window – a fact that every boy between the ages of 7 and 70 knew in the late 1970s. Today, it is the enlarged, two-piece roof spoiler of the new Polo GTI that is painted in black (high-gloss on top; underside in black matt). Other GTI characteristics at the rear include a high-gloss black diffuser and the chrome dual tailpipes of the exhaust system integrated on the left-hand side. Located in a direct line above the tailpipes is the GTI signature on the boot lid. Another standard feature of the Polo GTI is its LED tail light clusters that provide for a very distinctive light signature at night.

GTI side profile. GTI insignia on the car’s flanks include the newly designed 17-inch ‘Milton Keynes’ alloy wheels with 215/45 tyres. The inner areas of the high-sheen wheels are offset in black. They are colour coordinated on the sides with the matt black sill extensions of the Polo GTI. As an option, the GTI can be ordered with exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels for the first time (tyres: 215/40). The wheels in ‘Brescia’ design are also high-sheen; their inner area is also painted in high-gloss black. Regardless of which of the two wheel types is installed, the red painted brake calipers of the powerful brake system are always well visible through the aluminium spokes. Located on the front wings at the end of the eye-catching three-dimensional tornado line design feature is the red and chrome coloured GTI badge.

GTI colours. There are car colours, and then there are typical GTI colours. On the Polo GTI, the latter include the body colours Pure White, Flash Red and Deep Black Pearl Effect. In addition, the sportiest Polo can also be ordered in Limestone Grey Metallic or Reef Blue Metallic.

GTI interior. A highlight of every GTI is its customised interior. Black, red, grey and chrome dominate visually here. Everything that is not upgraded with red, grey or chrome is always finished in black (trim colour: Titan Black). Therefore, the roof pillars and rooflining are also black. Red contrast stitching is another typical GTI characteristic of the interior. It is found around the standard leather multifunction sport steering wheel, the gear shift lever trim, the floor mats and the outer seat surfaces. The top sport seats, which are ergonomic for practically any driver stature, feature the legendary ‘Clark’ plaid pattern on their inner surfaces (red, dark grey and light grey stripes, black squares). Black leather upholstery is available as an option. Numerous chrome details also upgrade the interior (including the steering wheel, gear knob, instrument surrounds, tabs of the air vents, climate controls, pedals and many buttons). Also exclusively coordinated for the GTI are the decors of the dash panel, centre console and door trims. The dash panel can be ordered in Deep Iron Glossy or Velvet Red; meanwhile the instruments in the upper dash area are always finished in black.

GTI instruments – Active Info Display. For the first time the new Polo, including, of course, the new GTI, can be ordered with fully digital instruments. The Polo is the first Volkswagen Group model to offer the latest generation of Active Info Display with a display diagonal of 10.25 inches. The most powerful Polo gets exclusive GTI graphics with a red-white-black design. It is known as ‘Sport’. Meanwhile, the infotainment systems with their 6.5- and 8.0-inch displays feature a unique GTI welcome screen. Instruments and the infotainment system are arranged on a single visual axis in the new Polo GTI, which makes them optimally visible and easy to operate. Digital interfaces for smartphones make it easier to bring their apps and various online services on board. Not only can smartphones be charged by plugging them in, but as an option they may be charged wirelessly (inductively) .

GTI features. Every new Polo has four doors as standard and is equipped with the area monitoring system Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring as well as the Automatic Post-Collision Braking system. The Polo GTI also offers numerous other details as standard. Beyond the
GTI-specific design features, these include additional head airbags front and rear, the XDS differential lock, driving profile selection, Composition Colour infotainment system, ambient lighting (white), door sill trims with GTI logo, air conditioning, front fog lights and cornering lights, LED tail light clusters, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, floor mats front and rear, electric windows all around with convenience switching, and multifunction display plus. The Polo GTI can also be equipped with an exceptionally large range of optional convenience and assistance systems. Two other optional equipment highlights are the largest panoramic sunroof in its class and a 300 watt sound system from Beats.

GTI engine and driving performance. Naturally, at the heart of every GTI, and therefore of the new Polo GTI, there is the engine. In recent times the GTI has always been powered by high torque turbocharged engines. In the case of the new Polo GTI, it is a two-litre direct-injection petrol engine with an output of 147 kW / 200 PS. As previously mentioned, it develops 8 PS more than the 1.8 TSI of the previous model (141 KW / 192 PS). This means that, like the Golf GTI, the new Polo GTI will be represented in the 2.0-litre turbo class for the first time. The 1,984 cc engine has a compression ratio of 11.65:1. The GTI unit delivers its maximum power between 4,400 and 6,000 rpm. This powerplant of the third generation EA888 engine series transmits its maximum torque of 320 Nm to the front wheels at a low 1,500 rpm; this high torque figure stays constant up to a speed of 4,400 rpm – giving the GTI engine a torque curve that is hardly traditional; it features an extremely sporty torque plateau. The Polo GTI is fuelled with premium petrol (95 RON). The new Polo GTI engine launches with a 6-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) as standard. A version with a 6-speed manual gearbox will follow next year. The Polo GTI with DSG accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds. Today’s most powerful Polo reaches a top speed of 237 km/h. Despite its power output of 200 PS, the Polo GTI can be driven very economically thanks to its efficient drive technology. The combined fuel consumption of the DSG version is 5.9 l/100 km (equating to 134 g/km CO2).

GTI running gear. The Polo GTI is offered with two different running gear configurations. It is based on a sport suspension; while the ‘Sport Select’ suspension with active dampers is available as an option. Like all Polo models, the GTI is also equipped with electromechanical power steering and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Also on-board is the XDS differential lock, which further refines traction when cornering quickly.

Basic configuration. The 200 PS Polo, which like all GTI cars features front-wheel drive, has coil spring struts and lower wishbones with a track-stabilising scrub radius. The front running gear additionally features an anti-roll bar. The front suspension consists of coil springs with telescopic gas-filled dampers; the elements are integrated in the spring struts. The rear running gear consists of a semi-independent twist-beam suspension with an integrated anti-roll bar. Gas-filled dampers and separate springs provide optimal suspension at the rear.

Sport suspension. The Polo GTI is the only model of the series to be delivered with a sport suspension as standard. The configuration includes special tuning of the springs, auxiliary springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars with the body lowered by 15 mm.

‘Sport Select’ suspension and driving profile selection. The new Polo can also be optionally configured with the ‘Sport Select’ suspension. The driver can vary the characteristic of the active dampers; and one of the two modes - Normal or Sport - can be activated with the driving profile selection that is included as standard in the Polo GTI. The driving profile selection itself offers four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. Driving profile selection enables the driver to make individual adjustments, within a defined scope, that have direct effects on vehicle handling. Along with its effects on the ‘Sport Select’ suspension, the profile that is selected also modifies the steering, engine characteristic and gearbox control. The driving profile selection is also available separately.

Active Info Display and infotainment systems
Instruments and infotainment merge

Digitalisation of the Polo cockpit points the way to the future

New Active Info Display. The new Polo, and thus the Polo GTI too, are launching as the first Volkswagen and first Volkswagen Group models to feature a new generation of the Active Info Display. Volkswagen interface designers have systematically advanced the next generation of the Active Info Display (10.25-inch display diagonal) and have elevated its high-quality graphics (133 dpi / resolution 1,280 x 480 pixels) and functional range to new levels. As a result, the display offers better graphic performance, higher pixel density, greater brightness and contrast, more intense colours and fewer conventional indicator lamps. Using a ‘View button’ on the multifunction steering wheel, the Polo driver can now also switch between three basic layouts, easily and quickly.

A view with two instrument dials, or ‘tubes’: one for the rev counter and one for the speedometer
Digital view without dials
Digital view without dials with supplemental information. Supplemental information can be configured via the infotainment system

In addition, the graphics and colour range of the Active Info Display have been fully adapted to each specific model. Thus, for the new Polo GTI, black, white and red colours and graphic elements dominate.

New cockpit environment. A new, digital and interactive cockpit environment has been created in the interplay of the Active Info Display and the infotainment system. Volkswagen is introducing the latest generation of infotainment systems in the Polo GTI with display sizes ranging from 6.5 to 8.0 inches. Specifically, these are the Composition Colour (6.5-inch
radio-infotainment) that comes as standard in the Polo GTI, Composition Media (8.0-inch radio-infotainment with CD player) and Discover Media
(8.0-inch radio-navigation infotainment with CD player).

Online services. The new Polo GTI brings connectivity to the driver and other vehicle occupants more innovatively and more easily than ever. In the Polo, they are ’always on’, which is to say they are online whenever they wish. Available for this purpose are the Car-Net applications App-Connect (in addition to MirrorLinkÒ / Android, it also integrates Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ / Google into the infotainment systems), Media Control and ‘Guide & Inform’ (wide variety of online services).
Convenience and assistance systems

Convenience and assistance systems
Electronically enhanced convenience and safety

Armada of new assistance and convenience systems in the Polo GTI

Blind Spot Monitor. This system can play a role in preventing serious accidents.The Blind Spot Monitor utilises an LED symbol in the outer area of the exterior mirrors to alert the driver to vehicles located in the blind spot alongside the Polo GTI and to vehicles approaching from the rear. As soon as a vehicle is detected, the symbol lights up. If the driver activates the turn indicator in the direction of the detected vehicle the symbol flashes as an additional warning level. Moreover, in this case the system generates a steering pulse that makes it harder to change lanes, thereby reducing the risk of a hazardous lane-changing incident. The system, which is automatically activated from a speed of 30 km/h, uses radar sensors to monitor an area of roughly 20 metres around the vehicle. When the Blind Spot Monitor is ordered, it automatically comes with Rear Traffic Alert, which makes reversing out of parking spaces much safer.

Rear Traffic Alert. Rear Traffic Alert further enhances safety. It is offered in combination with the Blind Spot Monitor. Rear Traffic Alert takes much of the risk out of reversing from driveways and parking spaces that are at right angles to the road. The system not only ‘recognises’ stationary or moving vehicles directly behind the Polo, but also vehicles approaching from the side which are barely visible to the driver. The radar-based sensor module even detects objects at distances of up to 40 metres and recognises objects moving at speeds of 4 km/h or faster. If a collision is imminent, the system produces an audible warning. If the driver or other road user does not take action to avert the danger, or if there is a risk of immediate collision, the Rear Traffic Alert system automatically activates the car’s brakes.

Driver Alert System. If the Driver Alert System detects waning concentration of the driver, it outputs an audible warning for a duration of five seconds and displays a message in the instrument cluster recommending a break from driving. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Around one-quarter of all accidents that result in personal injury involve multiple collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which is included as standard in the new Polo, can help to avoid secondary collisions or reduce their severity. After an initial collision, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System initiates a braking action – within system limits – even before the driver can react. This can reduce the severity of the accident and ideally prevent secondary collisions.

Proactive occupant protection system. If the proactive occupant protection system detects a potential accident situation – such as when hard braking is initiated by an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts for the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt systems. If a highly critical and unstable driving situation is detected – such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention – the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof. That is because when the windows and roof are nearly closed, the head and side airbags are braced optimally and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness. As this system is offered in the Polo GTI in conjunction with the standard Front Assist area monitoring system, the proactive occupant protection system also detects situations in which the distance to the vehicle ahead is critical, and it helps to shorten the vehicle’s stopping distance. In hazardous situations, the driver is given a visual and an audible warning and is also warned with a preventative braking jolt.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC). The system uses a radar sensor integrated in the front car body and is offered in conjunction with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG). The driver can specify a target speed within a range of 0 to 210 km/h. ACC automatically adapts the car’s speed to that of the vehicle driving ahead up to the maximum speed setting while maintaining a preselected distance. When the system is combined with DSG, this enables the Polo GTI with ACC to be automatically braked to a standstill behind a stopping vehicle. After stopping, automatic ACC operation can be resumed if the driver re-enables it.

Front Assist area monitoring system. Front Assist uses a radar sensor integrated into the front end of the car to continually monitor the distance to vehicles ahead. The system assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system, alerting the driver to the need to react by visual and audible warnings and, in a second stage, by a brief warning jolt of the brake pedal. If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient brake pressure to avoid a collision. If the driver does not react at all, Front Assist automatically brakes the car to give the driver more reaction time. In addition, the system assists by informing the driver if the distance to the vehicle ahead is too short. The latest version of Front Assist being offered in the Polo GTI not only detects other vehicles, but also pedestrians who are moving across the driving lane. As soon as a pedestrian is at risk, the system warns the driver and in a final stage brakes the Polo within system limits. One component of the Front Assist System is the City Emergency Braking system.

City Emergency Braking. City Emergency Braking is a system extension of Front Assist. It monitors the zone in front of the Polo by radar sensor. The system operates at speeds below 30 km/h. If the driver does not react in a situation with an impending collision with a vehicle ahead that is moving or stationary, then the brake system is preconditioned as in Front Assist. If necessary, the City Emergency Braking System then automatically initiates hard braking within system limits to reduce the severity of the impact. In addition, if the pedal force applied by the driver is insufficient, the system intervenes by applying maximum braking force.

Driving Profile Selection. In the driving profile selection, the driver can choose from a total of four programs: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. In the Eco driving mode engine management, the air conditioning unit and other auxiliary systems are regulated for optimal fuel efficiency. In addition, in vehicles with DSG, a coasting function can be used in Eco mode. If the driver releases the accelerator pedal – on downhill stretches, for example – the DSG disengages and the engine idles. This enables optimal utilisation of the Polo GTI’s kinetic energy. In Sport mode, on the other hand, damping of the active dampers is increased (with the Sport Select suspension), while engine response and DSG shift points are configured to be more dynamic.

Park Assist. Park Assist automatically guides the Polo GTI into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, and it can also reverse out of parallel parking spaces. The system is activated by pressing a button on the centre console. Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked. If Park Assist finds a sufficiently large parking space (40 cm of manoeuvring room, front and rear, suffices), assisted parking can begin. The driver engages reverse gear and only needs to accelerate and brake (an automatic braking function assists in case of insufficient space). The car handles the steering.

Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator. The Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator utilises the wheel speed sensors of the anti-lock brake system (ABS). In case of tyre pressure loss, the rolling radius of the affected wheel decreases, and the wheel turns faster at the same vehicle speed. This allows the system to detect insufficient air pressure, and it warns the driver. However, the Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator does not relieve the driver of the obligation to check tyre pressures.

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