By Maulik Asher
The Volkswagen Polo has been in the Indian market since 2010. It was the first hatchback from the Volkswagen stable to be launched in India. With it’s advanced German build quality, large boot, good suspension and fuel efficient engines it was a success with around 3000 vehicles being sold every month. Unfortunately though the 3-cylinder engines were just not enough for the enthusiasts. Finally, 3 years down the line Volkswagen have decided to launch a performance version of its diesel hatch, so let’s find out if it really does live up to the expectations.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION:
Obviously the most important part of the Polo GT is it’s engine. Compared to the regular Polo’s 1.2l three cylinder engine, the GT comes equipped with a 1.6L four cylinder TDi engine, the same one that does duty on the Volkswagen Vento and the Skoda Rapid. It is same engine on which the regular Polo’s engine was based but with a extra cylinder. The engine develops 105Ps of power produced at 4400rpm and 250Nm of torque. The motor is rev-happy and has good low-end torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Unfortunately the Polo GT TDi does not come with Volkswagen’s well-known 7-speed DSG gearbox. Nevertheless the GT TDi is fun to drive mainly because of it’s good power-to-weight ratio.
The exteriors of the GT is almost identical to the regular polo, except for the GT and TDi badging on the boot and front grille. The car has very clean, simple lines throughout. Volkswagen have tried to make things a little interesting by introducing the smoked headlights and this does help the car achieve a sporty image. Funnily though Volkswagen have not even offered a body kit or even a spoiler, a glaring omission. The Polo comes with the stylish 15-inch ‘Estrada’ alloys which do a good job of filling up the wheel arches. Overall the Polo Gt Tdi continues to have the slightly sporty character in terms of looks.
INTERIORS AND EQUIPMENT
The interior of the Polo is one of the best in it’s segment. The quality of plastics and fabrics used is of a higher grade and their are hardly any panel gaps. The switches and dials are simple and easy to use, typically German. The leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and hand-brake lever and chrome inserts around the AC-vents give the car a premium feel. The GT is packed with a lot of equipment. It comes with the 2-din RCD 320 with Aux, USB, Bluetooth, 4 speakers and steering mounted audio controls, climate control which is equipped with a dust and pollen filter, ABS, Ebd, 2 Airbags, sporty aluminium pedals, door garnish, rear wash/wipe, Fog lights, rear defogger, electric mirrors and hill hold feature which is a segment first.
To sum up, the Polo GT Tdi is a well put together product. One of the main disadvantages of the Polo was the lack of performance-oriented engines. But this has finally been addressed by Volkswagen as the GT TDi has been built just keeping one thing in mind, performance. It is basically a Vento without a boot, lesser rear-seat space and cheaper by around 2 lakh rupees. Over the regular polo it also gets many added features. High level of localization has also let Volkswagen price the car sensibly in spite of the higher taxes. The 1600cc motor in a Polo which weighs almost 90kg less than the Vento has led to phenomenal performance gains . This makes it the fastest diesel hatchback on sale in India!