A few months ago we brought you news of the facelifted VW Polo. The top-selling hatch had undergone the surgeon’s knife and returned with a fresh new appearance. Now the range-topping version has received the same treatment as we can see from the refreshed VW Polo GTI that was unveiled earlier today.

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Important news for local VW fans is that the performance derivative will be built right here at VW’s plant in Kariega, just outside Gqeberha. And for anyone looking to buy the revised version, you can plan your visit to the local dealer in the first quarter of 2022 when it goes on sale locally

Order from our online store and take advantage of free delivery in South Africa on orders over R349.

Headline figures

The refreshed VW Polo GTI remains mechanically unchanged from its ‘predecessor’. That is to say it is still powered by a 2,0-litre turbocharged engine. Peak power is rated 152 kW along with a healthy 320 N.m of torque. As always, the sole transmission is an automated dual-clutch option that is mated to the front wheels. 

From a performance perspective the refreshed VW Polo GTI delivers the same acceleration and top speed figures. The benchmark 0-100 km/h sprint takes 6,5 seconds and flat out it will do 240 km/h. The car comes with 17-inch alloy wheels as standard and has a 15 mm lower ride height than regular Polo derivatives.

New appearance

Most notable of the visual upgrades is the new IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights and an illuminated radiator grille bar which are standard fitment. The taillamps are also LED and feature a completely new design, which sort of reminds us of the T-Roc SUV (which we recently drove and reported on here).

A GTI-specific bumper features a red GTI logo on the radiator grille, which is of the honeycomb-design. There is also the signature red detailing above the LED daytime running light strip. A prominent GTI badge also replaces the Polo script on the middle of the tailgate.

New interior treatment

Red contrast stitching is used to remind occupants they are sitting in the performance Polo variant. The driver is faced by a multifunctional, leather sports steering wheel. Overseas markets get the tartan seat treatment, but we’ll bet local versions will feature leather.

New technology has been adopted on the facia. A new digital instrument cluster measures 10,25 inches across. The colour screen has an improved contrast ratio for easier viewing. A new touchscreen interface has been fitted that has an eight-inch screen. Buyers can opted to upgrade to a larger screen with more functionality eg wireless integration of apps such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.