South Africa Getting Detuned Facelift VW Polo GTI

The popular Volkswagen Polo has a new look. The Volkswagen Polo, which was first launched in South Africa in 1996, has continued to be a sales success over the past 25 years.

Topping the range is of course the GTI variant which features legendary GTI insignia, such as the red strip in the radiator grille, the honeycomb structure of the air intake grille, red brake callipers and GTI lettering on the radiator grille. The new Polo GTI is equipped with sports suspension that is specially tuned for the vehicle and also lowers the body by 15mm for improved dynamics.

Standard features in the new Polo GTI are the two-zone climatronic air conditioning, IQ. Light LED matrix headlights, 17-inch Milton Keynes alloy wheels and the Composition Media system with inductive mobile charging.

Optional features in the Polo GTI include the panoramic sunroof, Deep Iron Grey dashboard trim, 18-inch Faro alloy wheels, Discover Media System (with navigation, wireless App-Connect, Voice Control, inductive mobile charging and the multi-colour Digital Cockpit Pro), ‘beats’ sound system, leather seat package, Rearview Camera, Comfort Park Package (keyless entry, Park Assist and Rearview camera), Safety Package (Travel Assist consisting of Adaptive Cruise Control, ‘stop-and-go’ Speed Limiter and Lane Assist, Pedestrian Monitoring and Front Assist), NCAP Package (Power-adjustable, folding and heated exterior mirrors, Lane Assist, and Front Assist), keyless entry and a smoker’s package.

What is not optional is a detuned version of the 2.0 TSI turbocharged engine which pushes out 197 hp (147 kW) in South Africa but 204 hp (152 kW) in other markets. To be fair the chances of you noticing a 5 kW difference are relatively slim but we can safely say that the local market is getting a little bit tired of these detuned offerings hitting out shores.

Pricing for the new Polo range in South Africa will be confirmed closer to the launch date in January next year.

The Polo, which is built in Kariega in the Eastern Cape, is exported to all right-hand-drive markets worldwide. Volkswagen also supplements production for left-hand-drive markets. The Kariega plant is also the sole manufacturer of the Polo GTI. Over 80% of total Polo volume is exported to international markets worldwide. To date, more than 18 million Polos have been sold globally. In South Africa, 78 848 units of the sixth generation Polo have been sold since the vehicle was launched in 2018.

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