Volkswagen has released a mini-me Polo GTI called the R Line. Based on the Polo Match but with additional styling tweaks it turns a mild-mannered hatchback into a pretty convincing imitation of a road-racer.
The most noticeable change to the Polo is the fitment of deep bumpers front and rear and chunky side sills, which add a purposeful stance and toughen up the baby VW very nicely.
The R Line also gets 16-inch Mallory alloy wheels and a gloss black radiator grille alongside tinted rear windows.
VW has resorted to the Car Manufacturers Hot Hatch interior styling kit for the R Line, which means sports seats trimmed in a unique cloth (Kyalami in this instance), a logo on the headrests, aluminium scuff plates, leather-trimmed steering wheel, and alloy-trimmed pedals.
Buyers also get remote central locking, a six-speaker, iPod-compatible CD-player, Climatic air-con, a trip computer, electric windows (front and rear on the five-door model), split-folding rear seat, and tyre pressure monitoring.
Just one engine is available, the 1.2-litre, 105bhp petrol TSI. Buyers shouldnt feel cheated though, as the turbo-charged four is a great little engine that thrives on revs, making it feel faster than it is; the top speed is 118mph and hitting 62mph from rest takes 9.7 seconds.
Its reasonably economical too, returning up to 53.3mpg and emitting just 124g/km of carbon dioxide.
The front fog lights swivel when the car is cornering, which is a neat trick that is normally only available on more expensive cars.
Prices start at 15,195 OTR for the three-door version, rising to 15,815 for the five-door.
The changes that have been made might be obvious ones, but they work well and refresh the appeal of what is already a tempting little car. It looks terrific and is fitted with a great engine, so it should be fun to drive and cheap to run.
The Polos strongest competition comes from the Citroen DS3 and the Fiat 500, so it will be worth exploring them too if youve got 15k burning a hole in your pocket.
The Polo R Line is available to order now and the first customers will take delivery in July 2012.
Check out our full guide to the VW Polo along with reviews, stats, photos and videos.
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