In Europe, hot-hatch enthusiasts can enjoy a faster version of the Golf in the form of the GTI, or they can go absolutely mad with the V6-engined, all-wheel drive Golf R32. But while they can also buy the Polo GTI, Volkswagen isn’t so sure about building a quicker and AWD version of the smaller hatch.
The Polo shares the same platform as the new Audi A1, the succinctly-named PQ25. It wasn’t initially developed for all-wheel drive, which renders a blow against the Polo R: all VW R models feature AWD, as it’s the trump card against the GTI. Without AWD the Polo R would just be a slightly faster and angrier version of the current Polo GTI, and not even Volkswagen could have the good conscience to promote that.
However, Audi’s A1 is currently looking at a quattro model. This could pave the way for a Polo R with the vaunted AWD, but it would also drive the price up: with the Polo GTI at £19,000 in the UK and the Golf GTI £6,000 more, the Polo R would be difficult to slot in between those.