07 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen South Africa launches new Polo GTI from R375,900

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI (South Africa)

Following its market introduction in Europe – UK customer and VW retailer cars are now arriving – the latest sixth-generation Polo GTI has been launched in South Africa. Priced from R375,900, the new hot Polo is over R12,000 cheaper than the model it replaces, despite having more on-board technology and – with 147kW / 197bhp – more power.

Almost identical to the European-specification model, one of the main reasons for the South African Polo GTI’s lower price is that of local assembly. The car is built at Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory, rather than imported from Europe, and features the same 2.0 TSI turbocharged engine as its continental cousin, too.

Key ingredients
The key ingredients are the same as the latest European Polo GTI. There’s 320Nm / 236lb ft of torque from the engine, 15mm lower sports suspension, VW’s ‘XDS’ electronic differential lock, and a whole host of technological safety systems. These include assisted parking, a blind spot monitor, driver and rear traffic alert systems, as well as a tyre pressure loss indicator.

All new sixth-generation Polos receive an automatic post-collision braking system, and an advanced safety package is available on the GTI which includes blind spot detection, electric folding mirrors, parallel park assist, park distance control systems and a rear view camera.

As with other GTIs, the South African Polo GTI is front-wheel drive. It features coil spring struts and lower wishbones with a track-stabilising scrub radius. The front running gear also features an anti-roll bar, and the front coil springs have telescopic gas-filled dampers integrated into the spring struts. The rear running gear consists of semi-independent twist-beam suspension with an integrated anti-roll bar, featuring gas-filled dampers and separate springs.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI (South Africa)

‘A great driving experience’
Volkswagen South Africa states that ‘in the new Polo GTI the engine starter button becomes the trigger for a great driving experience’, and, having put the car through its paces at the Ascari race circuit near Malaga recently, we’d agree. We’d also confer with Volkswagen South Africa’s statement that the GTI concept allies ‘dynamism, safety and comfort’, and in the case of the 1,335kg Polo GTI, part of that dynamism comes from its fast 6.7-second 0 to 62mph time and 237km/h / 147mph top speed.

The 1,988cc ‘EA888’ TSI engine delivers maximum power between 4,400 and 6,000rpm, with maximum torque coming in from just 1,500rpm up to 4,400rpm. Like its European counterparts, the South African Polo GTI is launched with only a six-speed DSG gearbox, and the option of ‘Sport Select’ suspension with active dampers. As well as the two ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes, new Polo GTI drivers can also choose from four ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Individual’ settings in the standard ‘Driver Profile’ selection.

Dynamic and purposeful look
As important as the driving experience, though, when it comes to a GTI, are the looks. And just as with its mechanical make-up, the South African Polo GTI is identical to its European relatives. The enlarged dimensions of the new Polo allow for a more dynamic and purposeful look, but extra GTI signifiers identify the top-flight sports model. The traditional red grille stripe and badge (now also in red), and honeycomb grille are present, while the grille stripe flows into the optional LED headlights.

A more muscular front bumper with sections picked out in gloss black add to the design, while the rear boasts a gloss and matt black rear spoiler, an under-bumper diffuser, a pair of chrome exhausts and darker, tinted LED tail lamps. In profile, keen GTI spotters will see the 17-inch ‘Milton Keynes’ (‘Parker’ in the UK) alloy wheels – 18-inch ‘Brescia’ rims are available as an option – and the matt black sill extensions. Red brake calipers and the ‘GTI’ ‘arrow’ badge on the front wing also mark out the new Polo GTI.

Colours, as with the original Golf GTI of 1976, are limited. The traditional Deep Black Pearl Effect, Flash Red, and Pure White can be chosen as well as the new Reef Blue Metallic. Inside, the roof lining and pillars are trimmed in Titan Black material, while the seats feature ‘Art Velour’ upholstery, and sadly not the ‘Jacara’ check material of European cars. Black leather is an option, though, and the dashpad covering can be specified in Deep Iron or Velvet Red finishes, although Flash Red cars will strangely only come with Deep Iron dashpads.

The new South African Polo GTI’s cabin is as impressive as it is on other sixth-generation Polos, with an eight-inch ‘Composition Media’ colour touchscreen infotainment system as standard – the ‘Discover Media’ system is optional – and the option of the 10.25-inch Active Info Display digital instruments. GTI-specific features include white ambient lighting, and a multifunction display plus driver information system.

Available to order now, find out more about the the Volkswagen South Africa Polo GTI at the Volkswagen South Africa website.

2018 VOLKSWAGEN SOUTH AFRICA NEW POLO GTI: RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICES

GTI
2.0 TSI 147kW DSG, six-speed DSG, 5dr: R375,900

All prices include VAT and emissions tax. The new Volkswagen South Africa Polo GTI models come with a 3-year / 45,000km Service Plan, 
3-year / 120,000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15,000km.

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