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Volkswagen Polo GTI 2022: hot hatch to score grille lightbar and Golf GTI-style honeycomb details


The 2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI will follow its big brother, the Golf GTI, in adopting a honeycomb detailing motif across its lower front apron.

Volkswagen today released a single teaser sketch of the upcoming 2022 Polo GTI hot hatch, which is expected to be given a public unveiling in the coming weeks before a mid-2022 arrival in Australia.

The Polo GTI makes use of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine making 147kW of power and 320Nm of torque. It is front-wheel-drive and uses a six-speed wet-clutch DSG automatic gearbox. These outputs are not expected to change for the 2022 version.

Volkswagen Polo front 2022
Volkswagen has released teaser images of the full-fat GTI grade of the new Polo. Pictured is the new R-Line grade

The sketch is a slightly dramatised iteration of the final production form of the 2022 Polo GTI, which retains the core shape of the circa-2018 Polo while picking up a variety of design cues from the new eighth-generation Golf GTI.

The changes include a move to a broad LED light bar extending from restyled headlights into the grille, where the prominent strip of light is bisected by the new-style Volkswagen badge.

Lower down, the Polo GTI scraps the existing fog light assembly in favour of the Mk 8 Golf GTI’s honeycomb front apron detailing that incorporates bright ‘chequered flag’ daytime running lights (DRLs).

The sketch appears to show the Polo GTI carrying over the current ‘Milton Keynes’ alloy wheel design, which are fitted in 17-inch form to the ‘base’ GTI, while the optional, $3,900 Luxury Package sees the alloys stepped up to 18-inch wheels in the more slick ‘Brescia’ design.

Volkswagen Polo interior 2022
The Polo will carry over the enhanced interior that includes a new 9.2-inch display

It is clear that the 2022 Polo GTI will join the mainstream Polo in picking up wider and more assertive detailing for its mid-life facelift. The standard Polo lineup, including the warm R-Line trim, was revealed in facelifted form last week.

The changes across the lineup include a reshaped front end, as well as new two-piece taillights that mimic a design trait previously reserved for the Golf. Traditionally, the Polo has used a one-piece rear light.

Inside, the Polo gains an upsized 9.2-inch ‘Discover Pro’ touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto functionality. The infotainment package runs new software for the central touchscreen, and on the upgraded Virtual Cockpit Pro that sits ahead of the driver. An eight-inch touchscreen is likely to be entry-level equipment.

It is likely that the GTI grades will have the digital Virtual Cockpit Pro fitted as standard. We expect a Luxury Package to continue, adding the bigger 9.2-inch screen, a Beats stereo, and a higher-end interior trim with heated seats and electric adjustment upfront.

Volkswagen Polo GTI 2022
The sketch shows the Polo GTI is likely to imitate its Golf GTI sibling with a honeycomb grille

Currently, a $1,500 Driver Assistance Package is also offered, but we expect the features it includes – reversing AEB, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, to be absorbed into standard specification.

That is likely to result in a modest price rise compared to the current Mk 6 Polo GTI, which is priced at $32,890 before on-road costs. The Luxury Package costs $3,900

Wolfsburg’s starter hot hatch is a successful product in Australia, performing strongly in the affordable light sporty hatch segment against rivals that include the Ford Fiesta ST and the upcoming Hyundai i20 N.

The current Mk 6 Polo GTI is effectively in runout, with extremely tight stock across Australia. Volkswagen dealers are currently seeking more than $40,000 for demonstrator examples of the 2021 model.