This is the brand-new, MkVI VW Polo, but we’ll skip to the three letters that will pique your interest – GTI. It’s the range-topper (unless VW is planning an R), and gets a slightly bigger engine than its predecessor. And more power.
So there’s now a 2.0-litre turbo with 192bhp (compared to the outgoing GTI’s 1.8-litre unit and 187bhp), matched to your choice of 6spd manual (tick yes) or 7spd DSG (maybe, but probably no) driving the front wheels.
There’s a standard “sport” chassis, and an optional “sport select” chassis (adaptive dampers), along with a specially designed front bumper, badges, optional LEDs, sill extensions and the classic GTI interior. You know, tartan seats, sport steering wheel and red stitching.
It’s built on VW’s MQB A0 platform, which – if you don’t spend your evenings reciting VW Group chassis nomenclature – is the company’s base for compact cars. We’re told it allows for increased wheelbase, length and width, but similar height, so the new Polo is a much bigger car.
“The Polo is no longer just the small sibling of the Golf when it comes to its interior,” VW explains. “It is no longer the car that people only buy when they cannot afford the Golf.” Hmm.
If you don’t fancy a GTI, there are other engines like a 1.0-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel with up to 94bhp, and inside there’s a new-gen dash with centre screens ranging from 6.5in to 8in, better, clearer graphics and background lighting. Much like the Golf.