New VW Polo GTI: sporty supermini gets a refresh

Published: 30 June 2021

► 2021 VW Polo GTI
► A sensible hot hatch
► Plenty of tech upgrades

VW’s recently updated Polo supermini now has a GTI to match. The 2021 Polo GTI benefits from some of Volkswagen’s latest technology, with a slight tweak to its power outputs, too.

Let’s start with that power upgrade. It’s a relatively minor one in reality, with the updated GTI still featuring a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that now makes 204bhp (seven bhp more than before) with the same torque figure as the pre-facelift model.

polo gti headlight

VW claims a 6.5-second sprint to 62mph and a top speed of 149mph, with the brand pointing to the GTI’s 1286kg kerbweight for its sprightly performance. There’s no mention of a manual gearbox here – the pre-facelift one was available with one on the Continent – just a seven-speed DSG driving the front wheels. An electronic diff lock for the front wheels is standard, and the Polo GTI sits 15mm lower than a common or garden Polo.

As for the aforementioned tech upgrades, the GTI benefits from VW’s IQ light technology, including a light bar that runs across the width of the grille – much like the Polo’s larger GTI sibling. An updated infotainment system features – thankfully not the same one as the awkward system in the Golf, ID.3 and ID.4 – with more driver assistance technology making its way onto the options list.

Polo GTI interior

Elsewhere, it’s as you’d expect from a GTI model: tartan seats, red flourishes and tasty looking alloy wheel designs.

Prices aren’t revealed yet, but the new Polo GTI will arrive later in 2021.

Read our VW reviews here

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches