Covid-19 has ruined a lot of things both in our personal in our lives and in global industries, including delaying the launch of certain cars that we’ve been yearning to seeing here in Mzansi. As one of the top 10 global markets for the Golf GTI, our love for the german performance hatch is undeniable, and the delay of the Golf 8 launch in South Africa has been a blow to not only VW but to petrol heads who have been itching to place their orders. The big 8 has been scheduled for Q3 of 2021, and so we wait.

In the meantime, Volkswagen South Africa has announced the next generation Polo GTI, a model that has been in global circulation for two decades. The latest version of VW’s flaming hot hatch has received the breath of life and it promises to be more tech-savvy and sharper than ever before.

According to an international press release from Volkswagen SA, the upcoming Polo GTI is set to be a more refined athlete with a lowered suspension by 15mm for improved driving dynamics and handling. The Germans have also given it their XDS electronic diff lock for better cornering, a system that can regulate brake pressure on either of the front wheels during cornering to prevent any spinning and loss of traction.­­­­

On the tech front, the Polo gets new LED matrix headlights and ambient lighting in its radiator grille crossbar, which is there to enhance its daytime running lights. At the rear, the next-gen VW Polo’s lights will also be LED with integrated turn signals, bringing it up to speed with modern vehicle technology. Speaking of tech, inside, the Polo GTI will boast a fully digital interior with a hi-res 8.0-inch infotainment screen with improved graphics and wireless smartphone integration. As an option customers will be able to spec their new vehicle with the larger 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro screen.

With VW’s IQ.DRIVE, for the first time the Polo will be available with semi-autonomous driving. The system will be able to partially take over driving duties, by steering, braking and accelerating, from standstill up to a speed of 210 km/h. To do this, the car will use Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Assist, and a radar system.

Under its hood, the GTI will use a “high torque” 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI engine delivering 152 kW and 320 Nm to the front wheels.  Top speed here will be limited to 240 km/h after hitting the 100km/h mark in 6.5 seconds. A seven-speed DSG gearbox will facilitate it all.

When is the new Polo GTI coming to SA?

Hot on the heels of the eagerly anticipated launch of the Golf 8 GTI in the third quarter of this year, the new Polo GTI is set to arrive in Mzansi during the first quarter of 2022, which isn’t too far away if you think about it. What’s more, is that the new Polo model and the GTI variant will be built right here in South Africa, at VW’s plant in Kariega (Uitenhage). So keep your eyes peeled and we’ll continue to update you as things unfold.