For the first time, the Polo GTI offers its big brother’s EA888 engine. Will that aid it on track?
THE Volkswagen Polo GTI has always been the softer, more-attuned-to-daily-driving hot hatch in its class. That’s given it wide-ranging appeal but has limited its on-track prowess.
This time round, however, VW – which showed us with the Golf GTI Clubsport S it could let its hair down and develop a hard-core hot hatch – installed a version of the Golf 5 GTI’S EA888 2,0-litre turbopetrol engine atop the brand’s celebrated MQB platform. Our rst road test in September 2018 con rmed the 147 kw/320 N.m Polo GTI is far more accomplished dynamically. Would that newfound polish stand it in good stead at Killarney?
On a mild day, Deon Joubert left the DSG ‘box in automatic mode and set out. After two ying laps, the quickest time registered was 1:32,30, half a second brisker than the 2013 Ford Fiesta ST and 0,4 seconds slower than the benchmark 2017 Fiesta ST200.
Deon was undecided on the GTI’S track abilities: “A 1:32 is about what I expected it to do. The Polo is not very light and its speci cation leaves you in no doubt it is aimed at road driving. It is easy to drive and a great everyday car but not ideal for the track due to notable tyre squeal from understeer. However, an aftermarket specialist can increase its appeal for a new owner, as these engines have been around for years and can be tuned.”
Visit Carmag.co.za and click on the video tab to watch Deon Joubert put the Polo GTI through its paces