On board for 2015 is a new engine, updated infotainment equipment and - for the first time in the fifth-generation Polo GTI's production - a manual transmission option.
As with the 2014 model, the three-door bodystyle has been dropped from the Polo GTI range due to low demand.
However, with the new manual now being offered, the price of entry is slightly cheaper than the previous three-door auto at $27,490.
A cosmetic refresh sees the Polo GTI score its own specific body bits, and a look that's more recognisably "GTI".
Critics of the pre-update Polo GTI's nondescript appearance will likely be pleased with the 2015 model's unique bumpers, headlamps, sideskirts and alloy wheel designs. No longer will your GTI be easily confused with a 66TSI.
Inside there's an updated infotainment suite pinched from the Golf, plus updated instrumentation.
POWERTRAINS & SPECIFICATIONS
The old GTI's 1.4 litre twincharged four is gone, replaced by VW's EA888 turbo engine with a 1.8 litre displacement.
Unlike the old 1.4, the new 1.8 can be paired to a six-speed manual as well as a seven-speed twin clutch DSG automatic.
Power rises from the 1.4's 132kW to 141kW, delivered at 5400rpm. Peak torque remains at 250Nm for DSG-equipped GTIs, but opt for the manual and you get a huge 70Nm of extra twist.
The manual's 320Nm peak torque figure is also available over a 1450-4200rpm range, giving it a broader torque band than the outgoing 1.4 DSG.
The 1.8 DSG's torque band is even wider at 1250-5300rpm, but that's the result of the torque curve being artificially flattened to help preserve the transmission rather than any clever tuning.
Fuel consumption is listed at 6.1 l/100km for the manual and 5.7 l/100km for the DSG - a reduction of 0.4 l/100km over the old 1.4 twincharged motor. Both the manual and DSG will sprint to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds.
There's no tricky mechanical limited-slip differential spliting drive between the front wheels, but VW's XDL "virtual LSD" helps limit wheelspin and vector torque to the wheel that can make the best of it when cornering under power.
A sport mode for the stability control system is also a GTI-only feature, reducing electronic intervention when pushing hard but still keeping a safety net in place should the situation get out of hand.
Suspension hardware is also unique to the Polo GTI, and features specific damper and springrates as well as a 15mm lower ride height.
The Polo GTI rolls on 17-inch alloys, shrouding 310mm front brake rotors and 24mm rear brake rotors.
Much of the interior carries over, however the instrument panel features updated internals for a more three-dimensional look and the infotainment system comes in for a radical update with a new 6.5-inch colour touchscreen display.
Single-zone climate control is standard on the Polo GTI, as is a leather-bound multi-function steering wheel, extended Bluetooth connectivity, USB audio input, a CD player and a six-speaker audio system.
Dusk-sensing headlamps, rain-sensing wipers auto-dimming rear fiew mirror, and front foglamps are also included.
An alarm is also standard, and drawers under the front seats helps hide valuable from view. All Polo GTIs also receive a centre console box/armrest, which flips up when not in use.
Two option packs are available on the Polo GTI.
The Driver Assistance Package bundles sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, a rear view camera and a driver fatigue sensor for $1700, while the Luxury Package brings a glass sunroof, LED headlamps, heated front seats and Alcantara/leatherette upholstery for $3300.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
The 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI is available for order now,
- Volkswagen Polo GTI manual - $27,490
- Volkswagen Polo GTI DSG - $29,990
- Driver Assistance Package - $1700
- Luxury Package - $3300