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£21,260 when new
Yay, the fast one. Oh yes. New Polo means new Polo GTI – and this is good news for many reasons. Chief among which is a man called Karsten Schebsdat, VW’s Head of Chassis Engineering & Dynamics. He had a hand in the first Ford Focus, then he went to Porsche for a bit and did GT3s and much besides. Now he’s at VW – leading a team whose credits include the Golf GTI Clubsport S and Up GTI. Make no mistake, this is a man who knows how a car should handle. Give us the headlines. First thing you notice is how much bigger it is. ‘Cause it’s based on the new MQB A0 platform, like the Seat Ibiza, the new Polo is a chunky 7cm longer, 7cm wider and 2cm taller than the old one. Its proportions, stance and aesthetic scream Golf. And so does the engine. It’s the entirely familiar 2.0-litre turbo from the Golf GTI and Golf R et al. Here it makes a nice, round 200 PS (197bhp in old money) and 236lb ft of torque, which is enough for 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and 147mph. Fast enough, but those of you who’ve driven a fast Golf will feel short-changed. Feels a bit hamstrung - which of course, it is. At launch the only available gearbox is a six-speed DSG, but a manual will follow before long. This is excellent news.