Volkswagen launches the sporty Polo GT TSI

Its time for automotive enthusiasts to rejoice. Roughly an year back, we moaned about the lack of performance hatchbacks in India and sorely missed cars like the Volkswagen Polo SR, Suzuki Swift Sport and Fiat Punto Abarth that our counterparts in Europe had on offer. As if to answer that post of ours, Volkswagen launched the GT TSI, a sporty, high-performance variant of the Polo hatchback today. Replacing the Polo 1.6 that had a very short life in India, the GT TSI is now officially the flagship variant of the Polo and is priced at INR 7.99 Lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi.

Powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with direct injection technology, the GT TSI enjoys the Indian Government's excise duty benefits that are applicable for cars under 4 meters in length with an engine capacity of less than 1.2 liters. Mated to this engine is Volkswagen's notorious yet popular 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. With a maximum power output of 104 bhp and a peak torque of 175 Nm, the GT TSI doesn't look too impressive on paper. But, the fact that all this torque is generated from as low as 1500 rpm combined with Polo's brilliant ride and handling should be enough to make the GT TSI a delight on road.

The fantastic styling is carried over from the regular Polo and devoid of cuts, creases and curves. The clean, straight lines of the Polo is timeless and adds to the overall appeal of the car. The interiors are carried over from the existing Highline variant as well, with some changes done to the upholstery and a few additional features like, for instance, the sporty aluminium pedals. Safety is given a priority, with the GT TSI boasting dual airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and 'Hill Hold' function.

What is really disappointing though is the absence of stand-out design elements that would have made the GT TSI a show-stopper. A chin spoiler up front, sporty side skirts and a bumper spoiler at the rear would have complemented the looks as would a set of wider, low-profile tires with snazzy alloys, smoked lenses and racing stripes across the body. A sporty suspension setup with stiffened springs would have also made the GT TSI a real automotive enthusiast's delight. Sadly, the GT TSI has none of these. The only visual differentiators are the 'GT' and TSI' badges in the front grille, boot-lid and the C-Pillars.

Overall, the GT TSI may not be what we would call a real 'hot hatch', but it comes close to being one. Nevertheless, things have to start somewhere and let's just hope that the GT TSI is the beginning of all good things for hatchbacks. Kudos Volkswagen, for taking the initiative!


  1. Well the only 'real' hot hatch in India is the Mini Cooper. I may be exaggerating,but a 200 bhp Polo would be neat. And Punto Abarth is coming.

    1. Same guy here above. Which car was Zen Carbon and Steel?

    2. The Mini Cooper is too expensive and exclusive to the super rich. We expect the Punto Abarth to be the first proper and affordable hot hatch.

      Zen Carbon and Steel were 3-door 'limited edition' variants of the erstwhile Zen. Actually, they were export-surplus orders cleverly marketed by Maruti-Suzuki as special editions in India.