As of 2020, there have been six generations of the Volkswagen Polo, the companies original 'Supermini' with these incarnations usually identified with a 'Mark' or 'Series" number. In August 1994 Volkswagen introduced the third generation, the Mk3, with this being the first completely new Polo since the Mk2, which had been introduced some 12 years earlier!
Offered in hatchback, saloon and estate the Mk3 was also the first Polo to be offered in 3 and 5 door variants and in addition to the usual models, 'L, CL, GL and GLX, Volkswagen finally took the leap to adorn the Polo grill with the 'GTI' moniker, with VW seeing the car as a spiritual successor to the Mk1 Golf GTI .... especially as the new Polo shared almost identical dimensions to its forefather! Produced in limited number, 11,000 world wide, the UK market actually held off on releasing the car until the Polo received its 'facelift', the 3F, resulting in only 3300 UK RHD being produced, with production ceasing with the introduction of the Polo MK4 in 2002.
Immaculately present and one of just 1139 examples built this rare Polo GTI, 5 door, was sold through Timothy Green Volkswagen, Henley on Thames to its first, and only registered keep on the 11th March 2000 and was clearly well specified when new, with the car having the following specification:
- 1.6 litre, 16 valve engine with 125bhp
- 5 Speed Manual
- Finished in Flash Red (code: LP3G)
- GTI '1' cloth interior (code: GU)
- 15" BBS RS 772 Alloys (refurbished and fitted with a matched set of Toyo Proxes tyres)
- Xenon Headlights with wash system
- Air Conditioning
- Central Locking
- Electric Windows - front
- Power Steering
- Gamma radio
- 6 disc auto-changer
- GTI colour coded body kit
Having owned a proliferation of classic sporting VW's the opportunity to find original, unmolested, low mileage examples rarely occurs these days and to find one having had just 1 keeper since new means that this example is as close to 'factory fresh' as we've seen.
The Polo GTI was original launched in just 3 colours Black Pearl, Satin Silver and Flash Red and we have to say this 1 owner car looks sensational finished in her Flash Red. The panels are free from any dents, with panel gaps consistent with Volkswagens high build quality. All the rubbers, side trims, deeper front / rear bumpers, rear spoiler, honeycomb inserts have remained in fantastic condition suggesting she has been garaged through her life and there's no wonder this Polo still happily wears her GTI badge with great pride.
Consummate with the exterior condition the interior is just as it left the factory. The Polo GTI '1' seats are free from marks, the seat bolster free from damage, the fabric throughout is free from any creasing and the inner foam remains completely firm, meaning she offers figure hugging support through the bends.The dash area remains in excellent condition, the chrome bezels dials being unique to the GTI offer full instrumentation and in addition to the original Gamma stereo this example benefits from a boot mounted 6 disc auto-changer.
Mechanically this GTI has obviously been cherished. The 1.6litre, 16 valve engine fires without hesitation and settles into a smooth idle with exhausts gases leaving the engine via a genuine VAG exhaust system! Out on the open road the GTI performs exactly as expected. In a day when modern 'hot hatches' pump out 250-300+ bhp the Polo seems lacking, but the truth is, that with 125bhp a good driver can extract all the power when needed and enjoy a brisk cross country campaign rather than relying on a plethora of electronic aids needed to keep 4 wheels on the road.......and in the right direction! I would have no hesitation in jumping into this Polo GTI and drive her anywhere, she's a real pleasure to drive.
A truly cherished example this Volkswagen Polo GTI comes with one of the best history files we've seen. Including her PDi, there are no fewer than 15 services stamps in the 'Schedule' and naturally she also comes with a full book pack and two keys. The most recent, carried out by ourselves at 52370 miles, Nov 2020, has seen us carry out a full engine service plus additional works including Cambelt, pulley, waterpump replacement, meaning that her new owner will be able to enjoy her from the first day of ownership.
Most definitely a modern classic and without exception the finest we've come across, this Volkswagen Polo GTI ticks all the right boxes and she's is now looking for a new owner who will hopefully cherish her for the next 20 years and beyond!