a white POLO GTI driving in a city

Celebrating the birthday of an icon

  • To mark the anniversary, VW is offering a new Polo GTI with an extensive standard equipment package and some special design features
  • Standard features include sports suspension, electronic differential lock XDS and IQ. LIGHT – LED matrix headlights
  • The first Polo GTI was launched back in 1998 and these days is regarded as a collector’s item

Wolfsburg – 25 years of the Polo GTI! – To mark this anniversary, Volkswagen is launching the special-edition model Polo GTI Edition 25. It was in 1998 that the Polo first added those three iconic letters to its name: GTI. Now, a quarter of a century after the launch of the Polo III GTI, VW presents a limited edition of the current 152 kW (207 PS) Polo GTI. The powerful drive is impressive, but it’s not the only thing that stands out about this sporty compact car: with features including sports suspension, the electronic differential lock XDS, a comprehensive range of standard equipment and some special design highlights, the anniversary model is something special. The Polo GTI Edition 25 will be available to order in Germany from 1 June, priced at €35,205. Exact specification and price for the UK market are yet to be confirmed.

Just like its “older sibling” the Golf GTI, the Polo has a long history and a number of sporty predecessors: VW is now marking a quarter of a century of the Polo GTI with the special anniversary model Polo GTI Edition 25, limited to 2,500 units. Volkswagen has a rich heritage and the Polo is one of our most iconic vehicles,” says Imelda Labbé, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales. “GTI fans are very important to us and our anniversary model is a way of marking this milestone together with them: celebrating 25 years of power, performance, sportiness, and fun driving in the Polo class.”

close up of a steering wheel

Performance and vehicle handling

The powerful two-litre TSI engine offering 152 kW (207 PS) and a torque of 320 Nm propels the front-wheel drive Polo GTI Edition 25 from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. In addition, like the existing Polo GTI, this model is equipped with a specially tuned sports suspension as standard. This lowers the body by 15 millimetres and, in combination with the electronic differential lock XDS, ensures the synthesis of excellent driving dynamics, improved traction and precise handling that is typical of GTI models.

Exclusive anniversary equipment

The new special model also visually underlines its exceptional position: It has the classic GTI look, with red brake calipers and trim strips, a honeycomb design on the radiator grille and chrome-plated tailpipes. And that’s not all: the Polo GTI Edition 25 has a host of other exclusive equipment features including 18-inch Adelaide alloy wheels in Black Glossy, a black roof and black exterior mirrors, all of which help create its sporty look. The interior is equipped as standard with premium sport seats in perforated black-red leather finished off with stitched GTI logos, and glossy black decorative trim with red GTI lettering. Owners will be reminded that their vehicle is one of a limited number by the “One of 2500” logo on the sill panel trim. In addition to the GTI colours Pure White, Kings Red Metallic, Reef Blue Metallic, Smoke Grey Metallic and Deep Black Pearl Effect, the Polo GTI Edition 25 is also available in Ascot Grey.

close up of polo GTI interior seats
a white POLO GTI driving under a bridge

Innovative technologies

Features that come as standard include IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights with Dynamic Light Assist and LED daytime running lights which ensure highly homogeneous illumination of the road. There is also the multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with paddles and the “25” logo, as well as a number of assist systems that belong to higher vehicle classes. The optional Travel Assist forms part of the IQ.DRIVE assist package and allows for partly automated driving. The Travel Assist system can take over steering, braking and acceleration of the new Polo GTI at speeds from 0 km/h up to the system’s limit of 210 km/h. To do so, Travel Assist relies on familiar systems including Adaptive Cruise Control for longitudinal guidance, and Lane Assist (fitted as standard) for lateral guidance.

The instruments and Infotainment system in the new special-edition model are arranged on one visual axis, making them easy to see and operate at all times. The Infotainment system Ready2Discover is fitted as standard and boasts a high-resolution, 20-centimetre (8-inch) display, ensuring state-of-the-art connectivity. Two other systems are also optionally available.    

A look back at 25 years of the Polo GTI

When it launched back in 1979, the GT variant of the first Polo product line caused quite a stir. But it wasn’t until 1998 and the third Polo generation that the car was allowed to bear the iconic three letters. VW limited production of the first Polo GTI to 3,000 units and announced not long afterwards that the model was sold out. The next GTI version appeared several years later in 2006. The 132 kW (180 PS) Cup Edition was a true treat for fans as it was visually based on the racing cars used in the Polo Cup.

Then there was the fifth generation from 2010: the 1.4-litre TSI engine with turbo and supercharging proved to be a hit with GTI enthusiasts, and won over new fans too. The successor in 2014 was a force to be reckoned with: the brand new TSI engine offered 141 kW (192 PS) and top speeds of 236 km/h.

The Polo continued to evolve, and the GTI tradition evolved with it: the sixth Polo generation from 2021 set new standards for compact cars. It was based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), which stands for technological progress across all product lines as well as high body strength, exemplary low vehicle weight and excellent crash properties.

South Africa – the home of the Polo GTI

a close up of polo gti with the numbers 25 on the side of the car


Like the majority of other Polo models, the Polo GTI Edition 25 is manufactured in Kariega (South Africa). “Our team in South Africa is really proud of this car,” says Martina Biene, Managing Director and Chairperson of Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA). “The Polo has a long tradition here – especially the Polo GTI.” The factory, opened in 1951, is located near Port Elizabeth and is the largest car plant on the African continent. VWSA produces the Polo Vivo5, the Polo and – exclusively – the Polo GTI.

Article first published hereOpens an external link.

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