Volkswagen Polo GTI and Audi A1 40 TFSI get power bump, no local plans

The Volkswagen Polo GTI and its Audi A1 40 TFSI cousin have gotten more speed and more speeds for 2021, but we'll miss out on the updates.

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William Stopford

The Volkswagen Polo GTI and Audi A1 40 TFSI are now slightly more powerful in Europe than Australia.

Power in the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is up by 5kW to 152kW, though torque remains unchanged at 320Nm.

The European market cousins also use a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and a petrol particulate filter, while the Australian-market Polo GTI and A1 40 TFSI continue to use six-speed DSGs and no PPF.

The changes are enough to give the Polo GTI a quicker 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the pre-update model.

A spokesperson for Audi Australia ruled out the update to the A1, while a spokesperson for Volkswagen Australia ruled out the running change for Australia.

Specific powertrain details for the facelifted Polo range – due in the second quarter of 2022 – have yet to be confirmed, though the updated powertrain’s pairing with a PPF is likely to be a sticking point for Volkswagen Australia.

We currently miss out on the six-speed manual Polo GTI here, which Volkswagen Australia attributes to its availability exclusively with a PPF.

Although the Volkswagen Group has brought some vehicles into Australia with a PPF, they’re low-volume cars such as the Skoda Superb Scout, Audi RS3, and Skoda Karoq 140TSI Sportline.

Volkswagen’s Australian operations have had to offer different powertrain options in recent years.

The Mk7.5 Golf TCR, for example, used a six-speed DSG instead of the seven-speed used in Europe, with the European model also featuring a PPF.

In Australia, the new Mk8 Golf and Skoda Karoq 110TSI feature older turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engines, mated to torque-converter automatic transmissions.

Volkswagen Group Australia attributes this to the disparity in emissions regulations between Australia and Europe.

Australia still subscribes to more lenient Euro 5 emissions regulations. Europe moved to stricter 6d rules on January 1, 2021, and recently brought in the tougher WLTP emissions test.

Because the newer engines and dual-clutch transmission are more efficient, production is being prioritised for markets where they’re required to meet those strict emissions rules.

MORE: Volkswagen Polo news and reviews
MORE: Audi A1 news and reviews


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