This new model was conceived to deliver driving efficiency, together with the essence of VW GT-ness that petrolheads know so well from the go-faster versions of the Polo and the Golf.
The Polo BlueGT sure looks the part. Slung low on Polo GTI-spec suspension, with the same 215/40 R17 tyres on splendid 20-spoke alloy wheels (which no other Polo has), a deep front bumper and aerodynamic tailgate surround, it looks more like a performer than a green reformer.
Its 1.4-litre engine, with 140bhp and 250Nm, reinforces the Polo’s sporty aspirations. The powerplant is an all-new unit different from the familiar 1390cc 4-cylinder that, with some form of forced induction, has served Polos and Golfs.
The party trick is called ACT, short for Active Cylinder Technology. A first in the supermini segment, it is a cylinder deactivation system that can switch off cylinders 2 and 3 during low-torque cruising conditions when the crank speed is between 1400rpm and 4000rpm, effectively making the engine a 698cc 2-cylinder. It’s very clever. Even more ingenious is the way the system swops between 2-pot and 4-pot modes. It’s done so seamlessly and unobtrusively that you need to scan the multi-function display on the instrument panel if you really need to know.
Ultimately though, the sterling mileage figures are all that will be obvious to a Polo BlueGT owner. On the EU average driving cycle, the GT is certified to return over 22 kilometres per litre. During our drive in a mix of heavy traffic and speedy highways, we saw a best of 20km per litre and a worst of 15.4km per litre. Now, that is true BlueMotion efficiency, which begs the question why the car carries a GT badge.
Simple, because the full 140bhp is available on demand (in 0.04 of a second, to be exact) to deliver junior hot hatch performance, with genuinely sporty mid-range acceleration. The century sprint is completed in under 8 seconds, which is respectable.
Supermini enthusiasts who want Polo Sport-beating fuel economy along with some Polo GTI excitement should find the Polo BlueGT right up their alley.
This story was first published in the October 2012 issue of Torque.
Volkswagen Polo BlueGT 1.4 (A)
ENGINE 1395cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 140hp at 5600rpm
MAX TORQUE 250Nm 1500-3500rpm
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 7.9 seconds
TOP SPEED 210km/h
CONSUMPTION 22.2km/L (combined)