06 March 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Volkswagen pulls the covers off the Polo BlueGT at the Geneva motor show

2012 Volkswagen Polo BlueGT

After an 8-year absence, the Polo GT is back! Rumours of this potentially groundbreaking new Polo model only surfaced last week, but today, Volkswagen has made it official news. The Polo BlueGT (no space) was announced this morning at the 2012 Geneva Auto Salon, and pairs up the unlikely bedfellows of performance and frugality. Using ACT (Active Cylinder Technology) cylinder deactivation technology we first reported on recently, it is the first production Volkswagen to be fitted with such cutting-edge mechanicals. The 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is the first of the new EA211 series of powerplants which will become commonplace in Volkswagen’s new modular transverse matrix platform system.

Displacing 138bhp (103kW), the new unit gets the Polo BlueGT to 62mph from rest in 7.9 seconds, while top speed is 130mph. Emissions number 108g/km, some 31 less than the 178bhp Polo GTI, but specify the optional seven-speed DSG gearbox and this last figure tumbles further, with a CO2 reading of just 105g/km. Fuel economy is exceptional for a ‘warm’ hatch – the Polo BlueGT is forecast to do 60mpg on a combined cycle with a manual gearbox, and 62mpg when fitted with the semi-automatic shifter.

Of course, it’s all about the engine with the Polo BlueGT. Under light and medium loads, the second and third cylinders of the four-cylinder unit are automatically shut off, saving up 0.2 gallons when driven at a constant 31mph. Cylinder deactivation starts at engine speeds of between 1250 and 4000rpm, and at torque outputs of 18-74lb ft (25-100Nm). When the accelerator pedal is pressed, Volkswagen says that the two cylinders are imperceptibly reactivated. With mechanical switchovers happening in 13-36 milliseconds, a dashboard display lets drivers know when deactivation occurs.

Style-wise, the new Polo BlueGT is somewhere between a BlueMotion and a GTI. Visually triking nonetheless, it borrows the side sills and windscreen rain channels (we didn’t realise these were special!) from the thrifty Polo BlueMotion, while the rear spoiler, rear bumper and diffuser, and front bumper with LED running lights are also common to the GTI model. 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels help the Polo BlueGT stand out, as well as blue ‘GT’ badges front and rear, the tailgate one supplemented by a ‘BlueMotion’ script. A black-painted front grille and black door mirror cappings complete the look.

A black interior roof lining helps give the cabin a sporty ambience, while GTI instruments impart information to the driver. Bespoke BlueGT sport seats with grey and blue alcantara panels help distinguish the Polo BlueGT from its lesser siblings, while a flat-bottomed, leather-trimmed steering wheel features a blue ‘GT’ emblem. On sale in Europe in July, UK availability has yet to be confirmed, but if it was, we expect it to be near the end of the year, and at around £16,500, placing it directly between the 104bhp Polo 1.2 SEL TSI and the 178bhp Polo GTI. We hope Volkswagen UK decides to import it.

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