Published on November 30th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
VW Polo GTI 2015 Model Presented
The new Volkswagen Polo GTI is clearly recognisable as the sporty flagship of the series, both in the 2-door and the 4-door version. Newly designed bumpers and typical GTI insignia such as distinctive wheels and the red strips in the radiator grille and the H7 headlights or optional LED headlights give the car a dynamic appearance. The Polo GTI is also equipped with sports suspension as standard, lowering its stance on the road by 15 mm. With an exterior length of 3,983 mm and a width of 1,682 mm (1,901 mm including wing mirrors) the Polo (height: 1,450 mm) is one of the most compact sports cars on the market.
The GTI front section
The Polo GTI is available for the first time with LED headlights (dipped and main beam), and daytime running lights also provided by LEDs. Hallmarks of the Polo GTI include the red strip framing the radiator grille with its characteristic GTI honeycomb structure; in the new GTI this strip continues into the headlights. The lower, much bigger air intake has also acquired a newly designed honeycomb grille and is framed at each side by fog lights as standard (including cornering lights) and splitters, the kind of spoilers used in motor sports. Standard equipment for the GTI also includes front and rear ParkPilot, heated windscreen washer nozzles and a headlight cleaning system.
These LED dual headlights, with their highly detailed avant-garde design, are unmistakable – even from a distance – due to their construction and prominent reflectors. The light of the LED headlights is even whiter and more similar to daylight than that of xenon headlights, and it is less straining to the eyes of drivers while driving at dawn or dusk or at night.
The GTI silhouette and rear section
The silhouette and the rear also boast sporty design features. The door sills are distinctively flared, adding further to the Polo GTI’s sporty appeal, along with the new alloy wheels with GTI styling (size: 7.5J x 17) through which the gleaming red brake callipers are visible. At the rear, the GTI roof spoiler, prominent roof antenna, tail light clusters in ‘Dark Red’, the black grained diffuser and the chrome dual exhaust tailpipes located on the left of the vehicle all continue the sporty theme. Last but by no means least comes the GTI lettering, which takes its proper place at the rear, in the radiator grille and on the wings of this Polo.
The new Polo GTI is available in a choice of seven colours – ‘Pure White’, ‘Flash Red’ and ‘Black’ monochrome finishes, the metallic ‘Reflex Silver’, ‘Deep Black’, and ‘Blue Silk’, plus the mother of pearl effect ‘Oryx White’.
Interior design and features
The interior of the new Polo GTI is characterised by the newly “mixed” GTI insignias, including the distinctive ‘Clark’ tartan pattern of the upholstery of the top-class sports seats (in the front) and the rear seat system, and also features a large number of general improvements which are appearing in the series in their latest updated versions. These include the new instrument cluster with its 3D tubular look (with GTI styling) and the redesigned layout of the controls on the redesigned centre console. On the upper control level, just beneath the air vents, is a control panel that has been expanded from seven to nine buttons; positioned in the middle and easy to reach, for instance, is the hazard lights switch. The interior specialists have also optimised the controls for the air conditioning system that is standard in the Polo GTI (optionally ‘Climatronic’ automatic climate control). They are arranged below the infotainment system. Chrome accents on the door trim panels, the air vents and around the gear shift console round off the sophisticated ambience. And the Polo GTI also features a completely new generation of infotainment systems.
Characteristic GTI insignias
GTI red accentuates the sporty design of the interior, too. The leather sports steering wheel, adapted from the Golf GTI, has contrasting red stitching, as do the gear lever and handbrake lever; the floor mats also feature borders with red beading. Driver and passenger sit on top-class height-adjustable heated sports seats with centre panels upholstered in exclusive sports-style ‘Clark’ cloth as mentioned above (the outer sections are in ‘Black’ and also have contrasting red stitching); sports seats with a tartan design have been a standard feature of this icon of high performance since the launch of the very first GTI in 1976. The front centre armrest with storage compartment, the instrument cluster with GTI design, black headliner and aluminium-look pedal caps complete the dynamic and exclusive interior ambience. Polo GTI seats can also be ordered in an ‘Alcantara / leather look’ version as an option. As far as functionality is concerned, the extended range of standard equipment also includes footwell lighting, a sound actuator, Driver Alert System, multifunction display ‘Plus’, and the ‘Composition Touch’ infotainment system.
Dynamics and everyday practicality
The Polo GTI has not acquired its exceptional dynamics at the expense of everyday practicality. In fact, the opposite is true. On the inside, the car has clarity, an ergonomic design and is very versatile. The 2-door version of the Polo GTI comes with the ‘Easy Entry’ function, which allows the front seats to be moved forward in one easy movement then returned to their original position. The Polo GTI is also optionally available with four doors, making access to the rear even easier. In both versions of this 5-seater, the rear seat bench is split 60-40 and the backrests can be folded down. With five people on board, the Polo GTI offers a load capacity of 204 litres; with the rear seat bench folded down the luggage compartment extends up to 882 litres.
Progressive infotainment world
The Polo GTI’s radio and radio-navigation systems have been re-conceptualised; representing the second generation of the modular infotainment system (MIB), they reflect state-of-the-art technology. Depending on the version, the systems offer functions such as Bluetooth audio streaming (with a smartphone, including cover display and touchscreen control), a proximity sensor (other menu details are shown when hand approaches the screen), two-finger map zooming in navigation mode (as on a smartphone) and connection of the smartphone to the exterior antenna via the wireless ‘Comfort’ mobile phone interface. DAB+ digital radio can be added to all four systems – ‘Composition Touch’ (standard with the Polo GTI), ‘Composition Colour’, ‘Composition Media’ and ‘Discover Media’. In addition, special smart phone apps can be accessed on the touchscreen via MirrorLink™.
Engine and gearbox
The dynamic heart of the Polo GTI is a newly developed four-cylinder EA888 engine. The 2.0 litre version of this engine family is used to power the Golf GTI and other vehicles. The new Polo GTI is equipped with the third generation EA888 with a displacement of 1,798 cm3. The turbocharged direct injection petrol engine develops 141 kW / 192 PS of power. The 1.8 TSI provides this peak at between 4,200 and 6,200 rpm (6-speed manual version); for the 7-speed DSG the range is from 5,400 to 6,200 rpm. These variations are due to technical differences in the design parameters of the gearboxes. The same applies to the torque values: the DSG variant delivers a maximum torque of 250 Nm between 1,250 and 5,300 rpm whereas the figures for the manual gearbox version are 320 Nm between 1,450 and 4,200 rpm. However, the differences in torque have no effect on the vehicle’s performance figures (top speed and acceleration from 0-100 km/h). Having said that, the manual version does pull away slightly more briskly, while the DSG version’s fuel consumption is even lower.
New turbocharger, less weight
It has also been possible to reduce the weight of the engine, which has a new single-scroll turbocharger. A large portion of the savings came from the new thin-wall crankcase (3 mm thick), a weight-optimised crankshaft, the integrated exhaust manifold, a plastic oil pan and the use of aluminium screws. Total reduction: 5.4 kg.
This car’s performance figures speaks for themselves: with either transmission variant the Polo GTI accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds. Both versions have a top speed of 236 km/h.
The new Polo GTI is supplied as standard with a well graduated 6-speed gearbox that offers good shifting accuracy. A 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) is also optionally available for maximum levels of efficiency, dynamics and comfort. The automatic transmission was specially configured to the 192 PS GTI engine across a variety of individual parameters, characteristic curves and engine mappings.
Chassis and assistance systems
The Polo GTI’s completely retuned sports suspension ensures exceptionally agile and secure handling. The technical basis for this comes from a set-up with a McPherson-type front axle and a torsion beam axle for the rear wheels. The chassis of the GTI is 10 mm lower at the front and 15 mm lower at the rear compared with the less powerful Polo models. The chassis engineers succeeded in reducing roll to a minimum in the exceptionally agile and responsive Polo GTI. One of the factors responsible for this is the stronger anti-roll bar on the front axle. Replacing the 7-inch with 7.5-inch wide alloy wheels has also contributed to the improved handling; the newly designed 17-inch wheels come with 215/40 tyres. The vehicle’s handling is further refined through the addition of a new steering system. The Polo also has ESC (electronic stabilisation control) on board as standard, of course. Tyre pressure is monitored by the Tyre Monitoring Indicator (TMI), also included as standard. Safety on board the new Polo GTI is further enhanced by the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and the Driver Alert System, both of which are also standard equipment.
For the first time the Polo GTI is available with electromechanical power steering, with characteristics configured to the dynamics of the top model in the series. The compact system has been integrated directly into the steering column. The new Polo steering system is distinguished by its very precise and agile response and steering properties, and it decouples roadway bumps very well. The steering moment applied by the driver is amplified by an electric motor, which delivers its torque to the steering column via a worm gear.
‘Sport Select’ suspension including ‘Sport Performance Kit’
For the first time, Volkswagen is offering electronically adjustable dampers in the Polo GTI. These form the core technology basis of the new, optional ‘Sport Select’ suspension, which for the GTI is only available in conjunction with the ‘Sport Performance Kit’. The basic tuning of this suspension is already sporty, but more comfortable than a conventional sports suspension. When the driver presses the ‘Sport’ button (in the upper area of the centre console) this activates an electro-mechanical switching valve in the dampers which alters their tuning from this sporty yet comfort-oriented basic setting to the stiffer characteristic of a true sports suspension. In addition, the ‘Sport Performance Kit’ lends the new electromechanical power steering an even sportier characteristic. The same is true for the accelerator pedal response. At the same time, the engine noise heard inside the car also changes due to the sound actuator. And finally, if the new Polo GTI is equipped with the 7-speed DSG, the transmission changes automatically from D to S mode.
The Polo GTI is equipped with a fade resistant 16-inch brake system. The front wheels have ventilated brake discs with a diameter of 310 mm, and at the back 230 mm discs are used. The red brake callipers are a characteristic feature of the GTI.
Technically, the XDS+ electronic differential lock is a functionality that is integrated in the electronic stabilisation programme (ESC) for improved vehicle dynamics. This system, a refinement of the XDS first installed in the larger Golf, increases agility, using brake interventions on the inside wheels on both axles when cornering to reduce the required steering angle. In addition, XDS+ is effective over all conceivable road friction values, resulting in more precise handling, even on snow. The familiar properties of XDS – such as significantly reduced understeer and improved traction – have also been further refined.