The difference between power and torque is simple. Power is
an electrifying sensation moving up through the seat of your pants and to your
fingertips. Torque is an unrelenting force pushing you back in the seat. You
rev the nuts off a petrol engine to get to the sensational bit, while the
diesels pull themselves from lazy idles without effort. Volkswagen gave us the
lovely Polo GT TSI with a turbocharged petrol engine to play with. And now they
have plonked the 1.6 litre diesel engine from the Vento TDI in the Polo to
create the GT TDI. This is a recipe built for fun.
The Polo GT TDI is the most expensive diesel hatchback in
the country, and what makes this car so adorable is the thunderous lazy wave of
torque this red paprika comes seasoned with. Looking at the GT does fool
everybody that it is just regular Polo. There is no differentiation at all
except for GT badges at the front and the rear. But when you see one in front of
you, do not go poke it with a stick because it will chew you up. Volkswagen
offers the GT TDI with 15 inch ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels which look stunning and
perfectly match the appeal of the car.
The entire car has been designed so proportionately that it
looks just right from all the angles. The front face is sporty yet elegant, the
side shoulders are strong yet lean and the rear is modern yet sedate. The
halogen headlights come with black finish and lend an angry rakish look. The
favourite bit is that the entire car is so understated and has no shiny glitzy
trinkets on it ruining its serious appeal. It is a German hatchback and it
looks the part.
Open the door and you are greeted with GT badges on the
front door sills. Volkswagen has given the GT TDI fabric upholstery called
Superior ‘Milan’ Titanschwarz which is quiet butch and of high quality. The
interior quality is just fantastic. Everything is very well put together and
built to last. In fact no other car can match the fit and finish levels offered
by the little Volkswagen. The steering, gearshift knob and handbrake lever
handle come wrapped in high quality leather to lend that classy feel. Climate
control comes as standard and also a two din music system with 4 speakers which
we have to say performs very well.
The steering wheel is perfectly sized and weighed for
comfort as well as sporty handling. Parking manoeuvres and three-point turns
are extremely easy. The trip computer delivers vital information to the driver,
and you can choose between range, instantaneous fuel efficiency, speed,
etc by tapping a switch on the right
wiper stock. People may come around and argue that the entire car looks the
same inside out as all the other cars in the Volkswagen but frankly do not give
a blind eye to their comments. Volkswagens look the same as they nearly the
best in their segments. Not many manufacturers can match their quality and
technology as of yet.
Coming back to what makes this car so good, the engine. A
250Nm turbocharged diesel engine is more Thor’s hammer than the 1.2 TSI’s
thunderbolt. Step on the accelerator in any gear and brace yourself for a
moment as the turbo spools up, and then blast away. The acceleration is
relentless and continues rising till you reach 160-170kmph. After these speeds
the top speed numbers depend on wind and elevation gradients. But frankly you
need not question the numbers here. With the GT TDI it is all about the
delivery. The engine feels powerful on open highways and yet friendly in
Another important character of a hot hatchback is its
handling. And what better way to test the handling than sneaking a few laps
around the Buddh International Circuit. Overall the GT TDI handles quite well
on a racetrack. The 5-speed manual gearbox is a treat to work with. Gently
enter a fast corner and exit out at full chat. Front-wheel cars have a usual
property of understeering, as you are asking the front wheels to do the
propulsion and steering at the same time. The GT TDI does that as well, but it
does it way past most average driver’s talent runs out. And you have to
remember that it is a sub-9 lakh hatchback at that. Being an everyday vehicle
the GT TDI is a treat throughout the day, from the morning commute, the way
back home in the evening, to the weekend highway blast.
The GT TDI is a charming little car. It performs very well
for what it is, and yet will go around 13km to a litre of fuel when thrashed
around a racetrack (expect 18kmpl under normal driving conditions). The only
shortcomings in this little scamper is lack of cabin space and come with a
small boot. It will not see sales in many numbers for Volkswagen India, and
will be bought by young hearts with enthusiasm still brewing in them.
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