Facelifted Volkswagen Polo GTI hot hatch set for 2022 launch

Volkswagen will soon bring back its smallest hot hatchback, but CO2 emissions regulations could mean a drop in power

Volkswagen is gearing up to launch a facelifted version of the hot Polo GTI. It’ll follow the updated version of the standard Polo supermini into showrooms next year, sporting the same range of styling tweaks and rivalling the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST and the new Hyundai i20 N.

As shown by this lightly camouflaged mule, the next Polo GTI will adopt even more design cues from the Golf GTI. Both the front bumper and honeycomb grille are inspired by the larger hot hatchback, as are the full-width LED light bar and reshaped LED headlamps.

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There’ll be more Golf-inspired updates at the rear, with a couple more scallops in the bumper and some new tail lights that are identical to those on the standard Polo. Don’t be fooled by this mule, either – there’s some sneaky camouflage on the corner of each rear light that’s designed to make the units look like the lamps on the pre-facelifted model.

Inside, there’ll be a new GTI-branded sports steering wheel alongside some updated heating and climate controls that feature touch-sensitive sliders in place of physical buttons. Buyers will also get a couple of USB-C ports, a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster and a new 9.2-inch infotainment system, which was introduced to the standard Polo range earlier this year.

The revised Polo GTI is all but certain to use the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the old model, although Volkswagen is yet to confirm its power output. The old car developed 197bhp, but the brand has been forced to decrease the output of its hot hatchbacks in the past to comply with more stringent CO2 emissions regulations.

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Drive will be sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. This was the only option available in the UK on the pre-facelift model, with the six-speed manual option being reserved for left-hand drive markets.

Volkswagen plans to unveil the new Polo GTI later this month. The brand has already started building anticipation for the big day with a design sketch of the car. Under normal circumstances, the reveal would have been lined up with the annual Volkswagen festival in Worthersee, Austria. However, like last year, the 2021 event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now read our review of the pre-facelifted Volkswagen Polo GTI

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