Archive | Polo GTI

13 August 2012 ~ 6 Comments

Our cars: 2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI – report five

Y464 GHJ has seen almost a full calendar year in Rich Gooding’s ownership. Before he celebrates their first anniversary together, he reports on what’s happened to the car in the past three months

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI

It’s been a busy month for the GTI, not least as it’s been pressed into almost daily service again. I reported last time that I’d been using the car for commuting to a new place of work, which soon ended. Well, the situation has repeated itself, with me taking regular trips to carry out some freelance sub-editing and magazine layout for Bauer Media in Peterborough. The international publisher has titles such as CAR, Classic Cars, Classic Car Weekly, Land Rover Owner International, Parkers and Practical Classics on its roster, so when I’m needed it’s a 175-mile round trip, sometimes four times a week. Which is more than enough miles to get to know a car quite intimately.

While a sometime source of frustration, motorways see the Polo settle into a comfortable and soothing rhythm, its blend of high-specification and sporting élan coming into its own. It’s improved the fuel economy, too, with two recent readings of 41 and 44mpg recorded. I never thought I’d see that! When I do get bored of monotonous stretches of straight tarmac, winding B-roads are handled vigorously by the small Volkswagen, and if not the last word in sporting finesse and pedigree, it puts up a valiant effort. The steering is nicely weighted, and while there’s more body roll than you might expect at times, it’s easily controllable.

Spending more time in the car has allowed me to notice a couple of things. Firstly, the rear window gets dirtier under the rear spoiler than anywhere else on the glass (the water also drops off rearwards from the roof at a heavy rate), and the standard speakers really do produce a great sound, pumping music from my iPod via the cassette deck adapter. The boot light has also – typically – started working again, after my lambasting of it in my last report. In other news, I’ve removed the red grille trim already, as it was more pink than red due to excessive fading, and after having had both a new Polo BlueMotion and Up from the Volkswagen UK press office, the GTI has shared the drive with newer relatives.

With moving house and the new ‘commute’, the Polo’s had a lot to put up with, and I’ve not helped the situation. Two wheel rims on those gorgeous alloys have been kerbed, at opposite diagonal corners, and I reversed into another car on the driveway of the new house, taking the paint off the offside rear bumper corner. While deeply frustrating, there are worse things to worry about, and the first wheel has been painted and repaired. While the car was in the ever-dependable Sani’s Motors in Chelmsford, the slight chips in the wheel boltholes were touched in (making the second wheel kerning incident even more annoying). The second wheel is yet to be taken in, and will be looked at properly when the car has its impending – and soon overdue – 76,000-mile service.

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI: log book

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16 May 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Our cars: 2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI – report four

Bought eight months ago, how is Rich Gooding’s 10 year-old Polo GTI adjusting to daily life once again? It’s not all been plain sailing…

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI

The largest development in the ownership of Y464 GHJ came back in January. As reported last time, I took a job at a local design agency which put the car back in daily use, a somewhat alien concept to it. It was used sporadically after I bought it back in September, but had sat for at least four months before coming home with me. Sadly, that spell has now ended and I’m back to freelance work, which sees the car getting less use. Sad news for me, but happy news for the car, as the mileage is currently being kept down. And it also means that I enjoy it more when I do drive it, a positive upside.

On the whole, there’s been no major negatives to report over the three-month period that the car was in regular use. Every day it provided reliable transport, with a added sporty spring in its step, and, as reported last time, it can do the sporty thing and the calming thing in equal measure. I’ve been reading some old road tests of the car, and found out that only 4 per cent of Polo sales in 2001 were of the GTI, and in total, from the summer of 2000 when it was introduced to the start of 2002, only 3393 examples found their way onto UK roads. Well-equipped now, let alone back then, it should have sold more, but was up against fierce competition in the form of the Peugeot 106 and 206 GTIs, and the Citroën Saxo VTS.

The early-2000s Polo GTI deserved to be bought in bigger numbers on looks alone. I’ve said it before, but it is a good-looking car. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. A little. I’ve added red edging trim to the grille surround (sometimes referred to as ‘lipstick’), to bring the car in line with Volkswagen GTIs from 2004-2009, and think it looks a lot more ‘GTI’ than without, the red trim picking up the red ‘I’ on the front grille ‘GTI’ badge. I’ve yet to replace the rear ‘GTI’ badge with the new one I have sitting in storage, but with the weather the way it has been over the past month or so, there’s been neither rarely a dry day, or a warm one for me to even contemplate easing the old badge off. And, with Volkswagen events being cancelled left, right, and centre due to sodden venues, the car’s not had much chance to be shown off anyway. Let’s hope that soon changes.

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI

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18 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Lower-powered, visually identical 131bhp Polo GTI for China

2012 Volkswagen Polo GTI (Japan)

Reports are coming in that the latest Polo GTI 6R is to be produced in China, but with one major difference – its 178bhp engine will be replaced with a lower output 131bhp unit. The engine – still a turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI from the locally-produced Lavida – is thought to be cheaper to import than the higher output ‘twincharged’ unit, meaning lower retail prices of each completed car, therefore potentially appealing to more prospective customers.

The Chinese Polo GTI is expected to take a public bow in May, after having debuted at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show. It will be the first time the model has appeared in China, and also marks the first time the GTI has been made outside of Germany, manufactured by the Shanghai-Volkswagen joint venture. The good news is that there are no visual changes to the Chinese-produced car compared to its more expensive European counterpart.

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13 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Superchips announce Polo GTI ECU remap with 27bhp power boost

2012 Superchips Volkswagen Polo GTI

The current Polo GTI isn’t known for its lack of power. Yes, it may not develop quite as much go as the Renaultsport Clio 200, but its 178bhp serves it well. Now, though, if you want more, you can have more, with Volkswagen Racing UK official tuning partner Superchips’ ECU remap. The Buckinghamshire company’s software tweak sees the Polo GTI’s 1.4-litre ‘twincharged’ engine 27bhp more powerful (the 204bhp Superchips Polo GTI is only 3bhp down on a Mk 6 Golf GTI), with an additional 26lb ft (35Nm) of torque.

2012 Superchips Volkswagen Polo GTI

Both evo and Volkswagen Driver magazines have tested Superchips’ demo car, and while the extra power takes the GTI over the 200bhp threshold, it does have to pump the extra power to the road through the front wheels. The Superchips remap has to be carried out at one of the company’s outlets, and can be removed and reinstalled with the supplied Bluefin handheld device. The Superchips remap costs £455.

[Source: German Car Scene]

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12 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

PoloDriver.com 2012 Škoda Fabia vRS road test mini-magazine

2012 Skoda Fabia vRS

With three in-house rivals, the Polo GTI is one of a four-strong Volkswagen Group attack on the hot supermini market. The Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport, SEAT Ibiza Cupra, Škoda Fabia vRS and Volkswagen Polo GTI all employ the same 1.4-litre ‘twincharged’ engine, and all pump out, more or less, 180bhp. So, are there any real differences? We thought it was about time we found out. We recently had a Fabia vRS from Škoda UK’s press fleet spend a few days with us, to see if there really is £2645 worth of difference between it and the hot Polo. Read what we thought of the (very) green machine here, or click on the magazine graphic below. The seventh of our special digital mini-magazines, check out the PoloDriver bookshelf on issuu.com for our previous six titles.

[issuu width=600 height=400 backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=120426094249-a1d235cb052e4cfe979ed41bf3d716db name=polodriver_skoda_fabia_vrs_road_test username=polodriver tag=Autos unit=px v=2]

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