The Volkswagen Polo GTI, the performance hatchback from the German carmaker has recently received a massive price cut of ₹ 6 lakh in India. The Polo GTI, which was initially launched at ₹ 25.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), is now priced at ₹ 19.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India). We have already confirmed the price revision with a couple of dealers and when we contacted Volkswagen, a company spokesperson told us this is, in fact, according to the revised Goods and Service Tax (GST) rates, which came into effect on July 1, 2017.
Interestingly, word around the industry is that this is a stock clearance sale by Volkswagen, which has been struggling to sell the 99 units of the Polo GTI allotted for the Indian market owing to the massive price tag. On the other hand, when we tried to confirm this with the company, we were told that most of the units from the first lot of Polo GTIs assigned for India have already been sold and the remaining units are probably part of the unsold dealership stocks. In fact, the spokesperson even told us that Volkswagen India is currently working on bringing a second lot of the Polo GTI to the country but things are yet to be finalised.
Volkswagen launched the Polo GTI in India in November 2016 and the car is sold in the country as a completely built up (CBU) unit. It is the first GTI model to be launched in India and is powered by a 1.8-litre TSI 4-cylinder engine that makes 189 bhp and develops 250 Nm of peak torque. The turbocharged motor is mated to the company's tried and tested 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox, which is assisted by paddle shifters.
Styling wise, the Polo GTI offers red accents on the grille and in the headlamps. This red accenting has been a GTI trademark since the very first Golf GTI, which was launched, in the late 70s. The Polo GTI interiors hark back to the tartan (or checkered pattern) interiors that came on the Golf GTI in the mid-70s. Of course, in India, you get the leather seat option with the checkered pattern instead of the cloth seats you get abroad.
In India, the Volkswagen Polo GTI competes with the likes of the MINI Cooper S and the Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione. We still haven't received the post-GST prices for these two from their respective manufacturers so we cannot really compare them with the Polo GTI in terms of pricing. Having said that, we did compare to Polo GTI with the MINI Cooper S in real world conditions and you can read our comparison review here.