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Volkswagen Polo GTI - Thrills and spills from a fun little package

By BenCee on 27 Apr 2011

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Volkswagen held a press launch for the new Polo GTI hot hatch on Monday, and it was probably one of the more interesting ones I've experienced in my (relatively short) media career.

What they did was lay out a small circuit at the Marina Bay Golf Course, and let us journalists loose in the spicy little car. And, knowing how competitive us motoring writers are, there were prizes awarded for the top three fastest times of the day.

How did I fare? Well...

The basic circuit layout was this: A long starting straight, before braking to a halt at the other end. Then turning around you get a slalom course, before braking to a stop at the end again. Turn around once more and off you go. Two rounds constitute one lap. Everyone gets a practice turn and two timed laps.

We were actually the first to arrive, and so I was the first to give the car (and course) a go. I'm not sure if that helped in any way, but being among the first to check out the Polo GTI's capabilities, it gave me confidence that I could set a quick time on the day.

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After my first run, we took a short break for lunch (and let other journalists have their turn), and to find out more about the Polo GTI. Volkswagen are embarking on a novel approach in promoting this car, and I will talk about it more later in the article.

After lunch, and some vivid dicsussion with the Volkswagen people about the car, I was filled with confidence and ready to go out for my second run.

Unfortunately, the confidence from my first run must have gotten to me, for I probably overdid my second shot.

I braked far too late for the braking points, and powered on too early during the turnarounds. As I felt the car going away from me, I over-corrected, and then I heard the clunking sounds of traffic cones falling over.

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Before long, it was over. I was still hopeful of getting a good time, until I was told that I would be penalised for my over-exuberance.

Volkswagen wouldn't reveal the times to us (Hmph), but I figured that my antics would probably ranked me somewhere around...last place.

Nevertheless, it was loads of fun. I remembered grinning endlessly after I stepped out of the car, not just because of my mad driving, but also because the Polo GTI was such a hoot to drive.

Of course, these can only performed in a close, controlled environment, like the one Volkswagen set up for us, and NEVER on public roads. So it was a rare opportunity for us to release a little of our driving beast within.

And naturally, I didn't win any prizes that day. But the experience of piloting such a fun car as the Polo GTI would stay with me forever.

If you're interested in finding out more, Volkswagen has decided to market the Polo GTI through a series of new online media, with its innovative website (www.pologti.sg) featuring a very fun game, set along to the beatboxing sounds of top local beatboxer Dharni. Give the game a go, and you might even win a prize.

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In addition, Volkswagen are also releasing a couple of teaser videos on YouTube (the links of which are here and here), and hopes to spread them through viral marketing.

All in all, the Polo GTI is a very interesting car, aimed at people who seek to do things differently, just like it does.

Check it out, and you might just emerge with a smile on your face.

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Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...

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