Test Drive: The Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI GT
With the launch of the Polo 1.2 TSI GT, Volkswagen India has in a sense created a new segment in itself within the mainstream Indian auto market. The possibility of having the space for a true-blue premium hot hatch is very much there, and this new hatch will take its shot at the spot. The Polo GT has the distinction of featuring the first force-fed petrol engine in the segment. Coupled with the highly advanced 7 speed dual clutch DSG gearbox, the Polo GT, without doubt is the most desirable of all the hatchbacks in the sub-10 lakh category.
Featuring direct injection and turbo charging for a class-leading 105PS of power and 175Nm of torque, the VW Polo GT TSI is the first genuinely modern hot hatch for the Indian market.
The TSI engine, thanks to its modern tech and forced induction, offers great low to mid-range punch, translating into great real-world performance. Mated with the DSG transmission, the Polo presents itself as an ambidextrous tool adding clutchless convenience to the traffic ridden commute in metros. The fabled DSG is also quick enough to match your every move on a spirited weekend drive through the twisties. A sub 10 second 0-100km/h sprint and a top speed of 190km/h are mighty impressive figures for a hatchback.
The 7 speed DSG auto transmission on the Polo GT comes with three drive modes -- automatic, sport and manual. Automatic lets the electronic brain decide the shift points for optimum efficiency and performance based on the driver inputs. Sport mode sharpens the powertrain, allowing engine to rev higher to match a more aggressive driving style. Manual mode lets the driver shift gears by hand, up-shifting only when the rev needle approaches the redline.
With some of the most modern engine technologies under its bonnet, the Polo GT can avail its peak torque of 175 Nm from as low as 1500 Nm. This means that the car has enough turning force to pull from lower down the rev range, resulting in great driveability within the city and an impressive fuel efficiency figure of 17.2 kmpl certified by ARAI.
Available in only the top of the range Highline variant, the Polo GT comes loaded with many more features over the other variants. GT badging all around the car distinguishes this more expensive model from the lower spec variants. On the inside, features such as climate control system and new seat fabric come in addition to the Highline variants of the regular Polo variants. Safety features are impressive too with dual front airbags, ABS and ESP on the list.
As a part of the Highline package, the Polo GT also gets lots of other goodies such as leather wrapped steering, gear knob and handbrake, electric ORVMs and tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel with mounted audio controls. The audio system can play CDs, CD cards and has USB and aux-in functionality as well.
Trendy 15 inch alloys, a lane change indicator with triple flash, front and rear fog lamps, rear wash wipe, stereo with USB and aux-in and rear defogger complete the Polo GT package. Available in Candy White, Flash Red and Deep Black the well-proportioned Polo can be quite a treat for the eyes.
Priced at Rs 7.99 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the Polo 1.2 TSI may sound expensive to some. However, looking at the technology that the car offers — it appears rather reasonable to us. You wouldn’t be able to get that dual clutch transmission for anything less than Rs 17,00,000, if you wish to skip the Polo GT. For those who understand and appreciate the advantages of modern engines and transmissions, buying the Polo 1.2 TSI shouldn’t be a difficult decision. Making contemporary technology more accessible to people, the Polo 1.2 GT is truly an amazing product not just for its own segment, but for the Indian car market in general.
Amit Chhangani is Founder editor of Motoroids.com