The Volkswagen Polo GTI has always been a rare spectacle in India. It had a 1.8L TSI motor churning out an exhilarating 189 Bhp, seasoned with all the specifications to make it a thoroughbred hot hatch soulfully carrying over the sporty DNA of the Golf GTI. Unfortunately, once the accountants and taxes stepped in, Volkswagen had to price it steeply at Rs 26 Lakh thus killing off most of their potential buyers.
However, with the arrival of the sixth generation Polo GTI which is based on the new MQB platform, Volkswagen is eyeing on bringing it to the Indian shores with a competitive pricing. The old Polo GTI was a full import which gave way to its absurd pricing and Volkswagen can’t afford to do the same mistake with the new Polo GTI. The only viable option it has is to implement a fully localised production of its MQB platform but this would mean a delay of at least a year or two.
The new GTI comes with a 200 Bhp, 2.0L TSI engine. From the outside its a much bigger car with its striking looks and subtle GTI badging, but when it comes to the interiors the new GTI really stands out from the car it replaces. It gets all the gizmos including a fully digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, a very upmarket dashboard quilted with soft-touch materials which also houses an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.The legroom and headroom are identical to the new MQB based Polo.
One of the main rivals to the GTI is the Mini Cooper which starts at Rs 30 Lakh. While both the cars are equally competent, the GTI can’t hold a candle to the Mini thanks to its cult status. Volkswagen is fully aware that pricing plays the key factor in the success of the new GTI so while it still might be a full import, once the MQB platform has been localised for the new Polo which is scheduled for launch in 2019, Volkswagen would move on to the local production of the GTI.