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Volkswagen Polo GTI 2022: refreshed hot hatch coming to Australia early next year

John Law

The Volkswagen Polo GTI has been updated with extra safety, technology and driver-assistance features.

The 2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI has come in for an update in line with the core Polo range. That means a new look and a host of technology has been added to the hot hatch.

The GTI will join the core Polo range in Australia in the second quarter of next year, where it will face up against the new Hyundai i20 N and segment-leading Ford Fiesta ST.

Volkswagen Polo GTI 2022 rear
The facelifted Polo GTI has been revealed and is set to come to Australia next year

Outside, the Polo GTI has undergone the same treatment as the core range with restyled front and rear bumpers, and new lighting features including Matrix LED headlights. 

You can tell it’s a hotted-up GTI from the red trim in the grille, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, 15mm lower ride height and badging on the back. 

Inside, Volkswagen has kept the unique red dash insert for the GTI for a sportier feel. That’s set off by red stitching on the new leather-appointed steering wheel with touch-capacitive controls and tartan cloth upholstery. 

Volkswagen Polo GTI 2022 interior
The Polo GTI now gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

The same 8-inch touchscreen remains though it gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a new operating system for 2022. A digital driver’s display is standard, while a six-speaker, 300 watt Beats sound system is optional.

Under the bonnet, the GTI gets a more potent engine than the core range. It’s powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. 

In European markets, the updated Polo GTI gets a 5kW power bump to 152kW while torque remains identical at 320Nm. Those in Europe will also be treated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Volkswagen Polo GTI 2022 interior side
Volkswagen has fitted updated adaptive cruise control which should make it a better daily driver

However, Australian Polo GTI examples do not benefit from these changes. Instead, our cars will carry over the current car’s 147kW tune and six-speed DSG automatic. 

Exactly why we don’t get more power is unclear at the moment, though Volkswagen has previously kept the most powerful versions of their cars from Australia due to poor fuel standards.

Volkswagen Polo GTI 2022 front 3/4
Matrix headlights give it a very handsome appearance

Finally, Volkswagen has upgraded the Polo GTI’s convenience features. The adaptive cruise control now works with lane-trace assist in the marque’s ‘travel assist’ program that allows partial autonomy from stopped to 210km/h.

The updated Volkswagen Polo GTI will hit Australian shores in the second quarter of 2022. Pricing will be confirmed closer to launch.