The country’s most affordable driver’s car – the Volkswagen Polo – saw a change of heart earlier this year. But which is faster? The new BS6 1.0L three-cylinder TSI or the older BS4 1.2L four-cylinder TSI engine? Find out here.
Enthusiasts were heart broken when Volkswagen replaced the 1.2L four-cylinder TSI engine in the BS6 Polo GT with the new 1.0L three-cylinder TSI engine. The older 1.2L TSI was a gem of an engine and was widely acclaimed by the critics. It was high on performance and on the fun factor as well. The new 1.0L TSI engine certainly has lost a cylinder but is more powerful than the previous 1.2L TSI engine. Both engines are also offered with completely different gearboxes. The question is which one is faster?
Let’s first get the numbers out of the way. The older 1.2L four-cylinder TSI petrol engine produced 105bhp and with 175Nm of peak torque. It solely came mated to the 7-speed DSG gearbox. The new 1.0L three-cylinder TSI petrol engine produces 110bhp and 175Nm of peak torque. This engine now comes mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Although the new engine has lost a cylinder and some displacement, it has gained 5bhp and you also have the option to change gears yourself if you wish to take matter in your own hand.
So how does all this translate into real world acceleration? Well, in a test conducted by Zigwheels, the new BS6 Polo GT with the 1.0L TSI engine did the 0-100 kph sprint in 9.66 seconds. Meanwhile, the BS4 Polo GT with the 1.2L TSI engine did the 0-100 kph sprint in 10.62 seconds. So that’s a difference of almost a second. Is it down to just the difference in power? Umm, not really. The new Polo GT is certainly more powerful than before but it was also largely helped by its manual gearbox.
Usually, automatic gearboxes are quicker than manual gearboxes when it comes sheer acceleration. However, in case with the Polo GT, the 7-speed DSG gearbox does not allow the engine to be revved hard when launching the car. The manual gearbox on the new Polo GT with the 1.0L TSI engine allows for much better launches from 3500 rpm off the line. The 7-speed DSG gearbox is definitely quicker than the manual in changing gears but its just the initial launch which lets it down. Also, the extra 5bhp does come into play when driven at the limit.
That said, the BS4 Polo GT with the 1.2L TSI engine is definitely quicker in roll on acceleration. The 7-speed DSG does a great job in quickly shifting down the gears and then quickly builds up pace, particularly in the 20-80 kph run. Conversely, the 1.0L TSI engine also suffers from some turbo lag, which eventually lets it down in roll on acceleration. Its best kept above 2500 rpm for maximum responses and so you will have to shift down a gear manually. The 1.0L TSI engine also does not have quite the refinement of the older 1.2L TSI unit and has the typical three-cylinder thrum. These two are the only criticisms of the new engine. It’s otherwise equally thrilling in terms of performance and is faster than before as well. With the added advantage of a manual gearbox, the Polo GT still remains one of the best driver’s cars around.