The face-lifted Volkswagen Polo GTI will be available with a manual gearbox when it goes on sale at the end of the year.
Although the fourth-generation GTI won’t look dramatically different from the previous version, with just minor alterations to the lights and bumpers, there are a host of upgrades under the skin.
One of the biggest changes is to the engine. VW has broken away from the recent trend of fitting smaller engines, opting to replace the previous GTI’s 1.4-litre turbo engine with a 1.8-litre TSI petrol. The larger capacity brings a small increase in power, from 177bhp to 189bhp, while torque is 236lb ft. This shaves 0.2 seconds off the old car’s acceleration, meaning 0-62mph will take 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 147mph.
The last generation GTI came with a dual-clutch auto gearbox, but VW has announced it will now offer a six-speed manual as standard or a seven-speed DSG auto 'box as an option. As a result, the new car could cost less than the previous model, which started at £19,730.
Other options will include sports suspension with adjustable dampers and LED headlights. The Polo GTI will also feature two driving modes, allowing owners to select between comfort or sport modes depending on their mood.
The new Polo GTI will continue to be offered as either a three- or five-door hatchback when it goes on sale at the end of 2014. We expect the first UK cars to be delivered at the start of 2015.