Polo 2009-2014

Thirty-four years after the original Polo was announced, the fifth generation of Volkswagen’s evergreen supermini went on sale.  With each generation change the Polo has become larger and more technically advanced, yet it has remained true to the brand’s core values of safety, reliability, quality and value for money throughout that time.  That’s why the Polo remains a popular choice and the second best-selling Volkswagen model after the Golf.  It’s also a versatile vehicle, and with a wide range of engine and equipment levels, there is a Polo to appeal to every customer from teenagers to pensioners alike.

The fifth generation Polo made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009.  Series production started later that month with European sales beginning in June.  Volkswagen UK began taking orders for the new Polo on 7 August, with the first customer deliveries taking place on the ‘on-sale’ date of 16 October.  Three-door models followed in December 2009.

Penned under the control of the Volkswagen Group’s Head of Design, Walter de Silva, it’s little surprise and certainly no accident that the new Polo bears strong resemblance to the Golf and other Volkswagen models, with its face in line with the so-called ‘Volkswagen DNA’.  It is larger yet considerably lighter than the model it replaced, contributing to improved fuel economy and emissions.

The standard Polo is available with a choice of eight engines: six petrol and two diesel.  These are a pair of naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre engines with 60 or 70 PS, a 1.4-litre 85 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and, 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS with ACT Active Cylinder Management (BlueGT) and a 1.4-litre TSI 180 PS (GTI); plus two common rail TDI units: a 1.2-litre three-cylinder with 75 PS, and a 1.6-litre 90 PS.  All engines comply with Euro V emissions legislation. 

The Polo is offered in seven different trim levels: S and S A/C, Match Edition (replaced Match in April 2013), SEL, R-Line Style and R-Line Style A/C (introduced in April 2013), R-Line, BlueGT and GTI.  All models offer a class-leading level of specification with four airbags, ABS, ESP and DAB digital radio receiver standard on every Polo. 

In addition to the standard line-up is a BlueMotion model with a 1.2-litre 75 PS TDI which returns 80.7 mpg and emits 91 g/km of carbon dioxide (for which there is a separate press pack).

Optional equipment traditionally associated with cars in higher classes is also offered on the Polo, including touchscreen satellite navigation and climate control.

Since launch, the Polo has received international acclaim, being named European Car of the Year and 2010 World Car of the Year.  Several months before the vehicle’s launch, the Polo BlueMotion, along with the highly efficient Golf and Passat BlueMotion models, was also named 2010 World Green Car of the Year.  In addition, the Polo has claimed the title of ‘Best Small Car’ at the 2010 Fleet World Honours as well as ‘Best Supermini’ from What Car? and Fleet News.

Volkswagen UK sold 41,901 Polos in 2012.

SUMMARY

  • Original Polo was announced in 1975.  European sales started in March of that year and in the UK in June
  • New, fifth generation Polo announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009, production started later that month, European sales began in June 2009
  • UK five-door sales commenced in October 2009; three-door in December
  • Total Polo sales worldwide amount to 10.6 million; over 1,060,000 in the UK
  • Larger, lighter, and safer than the previous generation, the Polo established new standards in the supermini class
  • Basic body structure weighs 7.5 per cent less than the version it replaced – despite being wider and longer.  This helps the new Polo deliver a 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy over the previous model
  • Polo now measures 3,970 mm in length (+54 mm over previous model); is 1,682 mm wide (+32 mm); and 1,462 high (-5 mm).  Clever use of interior space means increased head, shoulder and leg-room
  • Eight engines are available in the standard line-up (six petrol and two diesel, ranging from 60 to 180 PS).  In addition a Polo BlueMotion with a 1.2-litre TDI common rail diesel engine is included
  • Seven-speed DSG transmission appears in the new Polo for the first time
  • Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) is standard along with ABS; five star Euro NCAP result  
  • Styled by a team led by Walter de Silva (Head of Design, Volkswagen Group) the new Polo gains a distinctive look that draws on the design direction established by the Scirocco and Golf.  Clean, uncluttered lines mix with a thin, horizontal grille element framed by a set of sleek light units
  • Use of high quality materials and advanced production processes enhance the Polo’s interior.  White backlit dials mix with high-quality plastics and subtle aluminium highlights throughout the cabin
  • Touchscreen satellite navigation and climate control offered for the first time
  • The Polo is offered in seven different trim levels: S and S A/C, Match Edition (replaced Match in April 2013), SEL, R-Line Style and R-Line Style A/C (introduced in April 2013), R-Line, BlueGT and GTI.  All models offer class-leading specification with four airbags, ABS, ESP and DAB digital radio receiver standard on every Polo
  • Shown as a concept car at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show and available from June 2010, the Polo BlueMotion has a 1.2-litre three-cylinder common rail diesel engine developing 75 PS, Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems, a gearbox with revised ratios, optimised aerodynamics, suspension lowered by 15 mm and low rolling resistance tyres.  Key figures are 80.7 mpg combined and 91 g/km of CO2
  • The fleet market accounted for 37 per cent of Polo sales in 2012
  • The best-selling model overall is the Match 1.2-litre 60 PS 5dr
  • Volkswagen sold 41,901 Polos in 2012

Market information
The Polo is Volkswagen’s second best-selling car, after the Golf.  It competes in the supermini class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.  Volkswagen sold 41,901 Polos in the UK in 2012.

Nearly two-thirds of all Polos (63 per cent) are sold into the retail market, and the majority (86 per cent) are petrol-powered.  The most popular trim level is Match, accounting for around three-quarters of all sales.  Over 90 per cent of Polos are sold in the key specifications of S and Match Edition (replaced standard Match in April 2013).  The best-selling trim and engine combination overall is the Match Edition 1.2-litre 60 PS.  The three-door Polo is responsible for around a quarter of total sales. 

Production
The Polo is produced at two Volkswagen production facilities: Uitenhage in South Africa and the Volkswagen Navarra plant in Pamplona, Spain.

Volkswagen of South Africa
The Volkswagen of South Africa (VWSA) plant is situated in Uitenhage, an industrial city around 450 miles east of Cape Town.  More than half (260 000 m²) of the plant’s 501 000 m² area, consists of production facilities.  The plant was founded in 1946, under the name ‘South African Motor Assemblers and Distributors’.  In 1966, 10 years after Volkswagen AG requested more capital, the factory’s name was change to Volkswagen of South Africa.  In 1974 the factory became the sole property of Volkswagen AG.

From the time the very first Volkswagen Beetle left the production line on 31 August 1951, the product range of VWSA has expanded considerably.  As well as producing components for the entire Volkswagen Group, the Uitenhage plant currently produces the Polo and Polo Classic.  In 2008, a total of 92,025 vehicles were produced of which more than 40,000 were exported to markets in Great Britain and the Asia Pacific Region.  Approximately 5,500 people are employed at the company, making VWSA the biggest employer in the region.

VWSA is actively engaged in many different social improvement programmes in the area, and increasingly on a national level.  VWSA is also involved in environmental projects and job creation.  Of particular importance is VWSA’s involvement in the fight against HIV and AIDS; in fact VWSA was recognised by the Global Business Coalition in Washington in 2005 for the role it played in its HIV/AIDS drive.

Volkswagen Navarra
The factory grounds of Volkswagen Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, occupy an area of some 1,630,000 square metres, of which around 300,000 sq m is buildings.  The Polo is the only ‘full vehicle’ Volkswagen to be produced at this plant, which also makes engines.  Around 5,000 people are employed here.

Volkswagen Navarra, S.A. was set up in 1965 with the name of ‘AUTHI’ (Automóviles de Turismo Hispano Ingleses).  The first vehicle to be produced in 1966 was a green Morris 1100.  Nine years later, the plant was acquired by SEAT. The first car produced after the takeover in 1976 was a white SEAT 124.  In 1982 SEAT and Volkswagen concluded a joint cooperation agreement, after which the second-generation Polo went into production at Pamplona in 1984.  The name of the plant has been changed twice since it was set up in the capital of Navarra. In 1993 and under SEAT control, AUTHI became the ‘Fabrica Navarra de Autómoviles S.A.’.  When Volkswagen acquired the SEAT shares in 1994 the new subsidiary was renamed ‘Volkswagen Navarra’.  Since the start of production of the Polo in 1984, Volkswagen Navarra has built more than five million Polos.

Also on the site of the plant, is the ‘Polo Park’, a joint foundation of Volkswagen Navarra and the Caja de Ahorros de Navarra, the Navarra savings bank.  Occupying an area of over 20,000 sq m and inaugurated in 1999 by the Spanish King and Queen, the Polo Park is a centre for road safety.  Cycling proficiency tracks, a go-kart circuit, a road safety training area and interactive classrooms are used to teach road safety and traffic sense to around 10,000 school children a year.

DESIGN

At launch, the new Polo became one of the new Volkswagen design family members, and as such has strong similarities with the Scirocco and Golf.  A precondition for implementing this design philosophy is the combination of progressive and highly innovative development and production techniques.  Designers, development engineers and production experts at Volkswagen work together far more closely than is usual, and this is to achieve a level of quality – both technical and visual – that is generally found only in cars from higher classes.  Under the leadership of Volkswagen Group chairman, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, experts including Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann (Group Board Member for Production), Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Development) and Walter de Silva (Head of Group Design) combine their creative energies to design and produce cars like the Polo.

Dimensions
The new Polo is longer and wider than its predecessor but lower, giving it a more purposeful appearance and dynamic stance.  The wheelbase was lengthened slightly by 4 mm to 2,470 mm, while track width was substantially increased by 29 mm at the front to 1,463 mm and by 30 mm to 1,456 mm at the rear. 

Despite the fact the car is not as tall as before, inside, head, leg and shoulder-room are all improved meaning this is a supermini that can accommodate five adults. 

 

Polo

(mm)

Previous Polo (mm)

Difference

(mm)

length, mm

3970

3916

+54

width, w/out door mirrors, mm

1682

1650

+32

height, mm

1462

1467

-5

wheelbase, mm

2470

2466

+4

maximum luggage capacity

 

 

 

w/out rear seat folded, litres

280

270

+10

with rear seat folded, litres

952

1030

-78

Exterior
The design of the Polo is modern, clean and efficient.  In contrast to so many cars in the supermini sector the Polo is crafted to be timeless and does not follow short-term fashion trends.  As already mentioned, its dimensions give a purposeful and dynamic stance, while the design itself is defined by sharp, precise lines without stylistic gimmicks.  Volkswagen’s consistently high resale values are in part due to these qualities.

Head of Design for the Volkswagen Group, Walter de Silva declared ‘La Semplicità’ (simplicity) as his design philosophy for the Polo.  He explains: ‘Elegance and emotionality, sportiness and dynamics, continue to guide design and styling.  In pursuit of simplicity and clarity, one must carefully consider how to express the intentions of designers while speaking to those of the observer.’   

His starting point for the design was the Volkswagen brand itself and its history and values.  De Silva continues: ‘Certain distinctive design elements have evolved as typical of the brand.  Mastery of the architecture and a balance of proportions have formed the foundation, the emphasis on horizontal lines has evolved into a unifying characteristic across models, and a literal love for details has become an essential means of expression… Reduced radii, tight seams and extremely sharp panel edges in its side profile, engine hood and tailgate underscore the car’s logical design concept.’

Front design
The Volkswagen family face, with its flat grille and band of headlights that has typified the brand ever since the launch of the Scirocco, was adapted for the Polo and emphasises the car’s additional width.  It also conveys an image of the car’s very low centre of gravity.  Integrated in the ‘face’ are the Polo’s body-coloured bumpers beneath the black grille, and in a third horizontal line below this, there is another large air inlet.  Just a few centimetres above the road is a narrow body-coloured front spoiler.  This has been moved forward and enhances the car’s pedestrian protection credentials.

Rear design
The rear of the car is characterised by geometric order and sportiness.  The design cue from the headlights, with their line breaking off with an upward turn, is taken up again in the taillights.  They also display a distinctive night look and extend into the Polo’s broad shoulder.

Supported on these shoulders – in the area of the car’s lateral ‘character line’ that can be seen from every perspective – is the roof section.  The tailgate extends right down to the bumper, and just as on the Golf, the Polo’s boot is opened with the VW logo, which swivels up and functions as a handle.  A subtle roof spoiler is integrated in the tailgate.

Side design
The Polo’s side profile is largely dominated by the sporty front overhang and extremely short rear overhang, the clearly defined ‘character line’ and low roof that slopes towards the rear.  The prominent shoulder line also gives the vehicle a new lateral structure and purposeful appearance.

Since the fourth generation, the five-door Polo has also sported what is known as a ‘three window look’, referring to the third side window which is integrated in the C-pillar.  This design feature is especially prominent on the new Polo.  In the area of the A- and C-pillars, the lower window line also takes an upward sweep, a reference to the styling of the headlights and taillights.  Also striking are the pronounced side skirts, which not only look sporty but also offer aerodynamic benefits.  The Polo’s underbody – a part rarely seen – is also adapted for optimal airflow, while the car’s redesigned exterior mirrors also reduce air resistance for this component by 20 per cent compared to the previous model.

Build quality
The quality and rigidity of a vehicle’s body structure are evident to the occupants from the general feeling of refinement, low noise levels and lack of vibration.  The Polo has clearly been designed and manufactured to be among the most rigid and safest in its class.  A car’s body rigidity is a key indicator to safety, noise, ride and refinement performance.  The high static rigidity of the Polo is attained in large part through the use of high-strength steels and attention to its structural design to reduce vibration.

It’s important to note that static rigidity was not attained at the cost of added weight.  In fact the body structure of the Polo is 7.5 per cent lighter than that of the previous model, despite its safety gains.

As well as having high static rigidity, the Polo also maintains a high dynamic rigidity, an essential factor in attaining good ride and handling, and reducing noise and vibration.  On the Polo, the combination of an optimal structural layout of the car body, clever material selection and innovative welding and adhesive processes result in top values of 43 Hz for the so-called torsional natural frequency and 46 Hz for the bending natural frequency.  In all relevant body zones, high local rigidity values also provide for good sound insulation and therefore exceptionally low levels of interior noise.

Interior
In designing the Polo’s interior, developers once again set themselves the target of giving the car the level of quality and comfort that occupants would expect to find in a vehicle from one or several classes above.  This meant providing the best in ergonomics, regardless of the size of the driver and passengers, as well as every surface and switch being easy and pleasant to touch.  To achieve this, the surface of the instrument panel is upgraded by so-called ‘slush technology’, a high-end surface structure which is soft to touch yet durable.

The centre console is turned slightly towards the driver for convenience, and the controls on this console are laid out intuitively and logically.  At the top there are two central air vents, which have high gloss black bezel surrounds (matt chrome from Match Edition upwards).  Below, Polo drivers will find a familiar row of switches for the hazard lights, heated rear window and optional heated seats.  The next level down contains controls for the new radio and satellite navigation systems that were all being introduced on the Polo for the first time.  Top of the range equipment here is the optional RNS 315 – a radio-navigation system with touchscreen, multimedia interface, MP3 functionality (via CD or SD card) and AUX-IN socket.  The lowermost console level is home to the heating and ventilation controls.

The Polo’s instruments were also redesigned, and Volkswagen’s traditional blue dials have given way to white backlighting.  The fuel gauge is now digital.  DAB digital radio is standard on every Polo, while Bluetooth connection via a touch phone kit is also available on all but the entry-level S and S A/C trims.

For maximum comfort, practicality and versatility, the driver’s seat, front passenger’s seat and rear bench seat were all redesigned offering more space at all five seating locations in the Polo.  In particular, knee-room in the rear has grown with an increase in the interior length to 1,674 mm (+8 mm) while shoulder-room in the front (1,372 mm) has also increased by 22 mm.  The rear bench seat can be easily folded (60:40 split on all except S trim) to give a level bootspace.  Also standard on all Polos except the entry-level S trim is a variable loadspace floor which offers additional flexibility.

Climate control
The Polo has sophisticated heating and ventilation controls.  On all but the entry-level S and R-Line Style models, Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning is standard.  This also includes a coolable glovebox.  To keep the cabin fresh and well ventilated there is a good flow of air to front and rear passengers, as well as a pollen filter which operates in both fresh-air and recirculating-air modes.  Using a simple dial control, the Climatic system maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

On all except S and R-Line Style, customers can choose to upgrade to fully automatic electronic climate control air conditioning.  The system’s intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetrating the cabin and compensates for it. 

As an example of further attention to detail, the system switches automatically to recirculating-air mode when reversing and when the windscreen washer sprays are used; the fresh air supply is momentarily cut to prevent smells – of exhaust and windscreen wash – from entering.

ENGINES

The standard Polo is available with a choice of six petrol and two diesel engines. 

These are a pair of naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre engines with 60 or 70 PS, a 1.4-litre 85 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS with ACT Active Cylinder Management and a 1.4-litre TSI 180 PS; plus two common rail TDI units: a 1.2-litre three-cylinder with 75 PS, and a 1.6-litre 90 PS.  All engines comply with Euro V emissions legislation.  A BlueMotion model with 1.2-litre TDI 75 PS is also available.

Petrol engines

1.2-litre, 1198 cc, 12-valve 3-cyl, 60 and 70 PS
These proven engines were in large part carried over from the previous generation Polo.  However they were further improved with reduced weight and enhanced acoustics and modified to attain the Euro V emissions standard.  One key technical modification was an optimised reduced-noise chain for the timing and oil pump drives.  Engine management and aerodynamic improvements resulted in fuel consumption savings of an average of 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres.  Carbon dioxide emissions were similarly reduced from 138 to 128 g/km.

Both three-cylinder units have four valves per cylinder and are fitted with a balancer shaft to ensure good refinement. 

Producing 60 PS at 5,200 rpm, this entry-level engine generates a maximum torque of 108 Nm (80 lbs ft) at 3,000 rpm.  Fitted with this engine the Polo can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 16.1 seconds and go on to a top speed of 98 mph.  It returns a combined fuel consumption of 51.4 mpg and emits 128 g/km of CO2.

The higher powered unit produces 70 PS at 5,400 rpm and 112 Nm (83 lbs ft) of torque at 3,000 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes 14.1 seconds and top speed is 103 mph.  Economy is impressive and the same as for the lower-powered unit at 51.4 mpg (combined) and COemissions are 128 g/km.

These engines are fitted as standard with a five-speed manual gearbox.

1.4-litre, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS
The 1.4-litre petrol unit was equipped for the latest model generation with new engine electronics and a revised injection system.  This lightweight (95 kg) four-cylinder aluminium block engine produces 85 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 132 Nm (97 lbs ft) is available at 3,800 rpm. 

For the first time on a Polo, this engine is available with an optional seven-speed DSG automatic transmission in addition to the standard five-speed manual gearbox.

Performance is lively with 0 to 62 mph coming up in 11.9 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph.  This Polo has a fuel consumption figure of 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle (48.7 DSG) and carbon dioxide emissions of 139 g/km (134 DSG).

TSI petrol engine technology
The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity.  Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply supercharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute.  This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds.  As an additional bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

TSI technology has received international acclaim.  After being recognised in the International Engine of the Year Awards since 2006 when it was named Best New Engine, in 2009 TSI technology won a trio of awards: the overall accolade of Best International Engine of the Year, Best Green Engine and Best Engine in the 1.0- to 1.4-litre category.   In 2013, the 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine won this category for the seventh consecutive time, making it the most successful engine in the 15-year history of the competition.  In addition, in 2013 Volkswagen received the coveted ‘Best New Engine Award’ for its TSI technology in combination with automatic cylinder deactivation (ACT).

1.2-litre TSI, 1198 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS
This turbocharged unit produces peak power of 105 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 175 Nm (129 lbs ft) from 1,550 up to 4,100 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes just 9.7 seconds and top speed is 118 mph.  It is available with a six-speed manual gearbox only.  This car has a combined economy figure of 53.3 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of 124 g/km. 

1.4-litre TSI ACT (Active Cylinder Technology), 1395 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS
The Polo BlueGT, which was introduced into the UK in December 2012, was the first Volkswagen production car to mix the performance of a petrol motor with the frugality of a diesel through the use of ACT cylinder deactivation.

At its heart, and responsible in large part for its combination of high performance and low fuel economy, is Volkswagen’s EA211 engine.  Under light and medium loads, the second and third cylinders are automatically shut down, producing fuel savings of up to 0.4 litres per 100 km in the EU driving cycle.  At a constant 50 kmh (30 mph) the savings can be as much as one litre per 100 km, and even at 70 kmh (44 mph) in fifth gear, around 0.7 litres per 100 km can be saved.

Cylinder deactivation occurs at engine speeds of between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of 25 to 100 Nm (18 to 74 lbs ft).  If the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the two cylinders are imperceptibly reactivated.  All mechanical switchovers occur within 13 to 36 milliseconds, depending on engine speed.  The multifunction display in the instrument binnacle lets the driver know when cylinders are deactivated.

The results speak for themselves: the Polo BlueGT’s turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine produces 140 PS and 250 Nm (185 lbs ft) of torque, yet it returns 61.4 mpg on the combined cycle and emits just 107 g/km of CO2, whether drivers opt for the six-speed manual or the seven-speed DSG transmission.  Top speed is 130 mph and zero to 62 mph takes just 7.9 seconds. 

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 180 PS
Powering the range-topping GTI model is a twincharged 1.4-litre TSI unit.  The TSI engine uses a supercharger to eliminate lag and provide high torque from idling speed.  At higher engine speeds a turbocharger takes over.  The result is an output of 180 PS at 6,200 rpm (a 30 PS rise over previous generation) which allows the Polo GTI to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds, and go on to a top speed of 142 mph.  Maximum torque is 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) from 2,000 up to 4,500 rpm.

The latest Polo GTI is 25 per cent more fuel efficient than the model it replaces, returning 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km.

The GTI features substantial revisions over the standard car – for details please see the ‘Equipment and trim’ section of this press pack. 

Diesel engines
The fifth generation Polo was the first to use common rail diesel technology.  Two diesel engines are available:  a1.2-litre TDI 75 PS and a 1.6-litre 90 PS.  Both comply with Euro V emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which reduces particulate emissions to below five mg/km. 

Using a common rail system, the diesel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to 1,600 bar.  Piezo actuators control multiple injections with highly precise fuel quantities and timing.  In an effort to reduce internal engine friction, crankshaft, valve and oil pump drives were optimised, while a square bore/stroke ratio minimises friction losses at the cylinder liners.  Losses were also reduced in oil and coolant circuits as well as the air induction system.

1.2-litre, 1199 cc TDI CR, 12-valve 3-cyl, 75 PS
The Polo’s entry-level diesel engine produces 75 PS at 4,200 rpm and 180 Nm (133 lbs ft) of torque at 2,000 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes 13.9 seconds while top speed is 105 mph.  Where this engine excels is on economy: it returns 72.4 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting just 102 g/km of CO2.  This engine is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.

This engine is also at the heart of the Polo BlueMotion model (see separate press pack).  In this variant, with added economy measures and a raft of modifications, it returns 80.7 mpg and boasts CO2 emissions of just 91 g/km.

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS
For those looking for additional performance, this is the most powerful diesel Polo available.  Also driving through a five-speed manual gearbox, this engine produces 90 PS at 4,200 rpm and 230 Nm (170 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm.  The 0 to 62 mph sprint takes 11.5 seconds and this Polo goes on to a top speed of 112 mph.  The combined economy figure is 65.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are 112 g/km.

Gearboxes
All Polos have a standard five-speed manual gearbox, except for the 1.2-litre 105 PS and 1.4-litre TSI ACT 140 PS which have a six-speed transmission.  The 1.4-litre 85 PS and 140 PS petrol engines are also available with the option of a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox; this gearbox is standard on the range-topping GTI model.

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox
Launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) was a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and fuel efficiency of a manual unit.  Essentially it uses two clutches, one to control the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, the other to operate the ‘even’ gears.  With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are exhibited with some transmissions no longer occur thanks to an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) control system.

The system enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, while the clutch for fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process can be completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. 

The seven-speed unit seen here in the Polo uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact. 

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear train, the second feeds oil to the gear-change actuators.  Since the clutches do not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed to only 1.7-litres in the seven-speed DSG system.

Servicing
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Polo.  They can choose Fixed of Flexible Service, and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

Fixed Service is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used for:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the Flexible system, the vehicle can cover between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between servicing regimes at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.        

RUNNING GEAR

For the latest generation, Volkswagen significantly redesigned many aspects of the Polo’s running gear which utilises strut-type front suspension and semi-independent rear suspension.  The track width was increased by 29 mm at the front and 30 mm at the rear, resulting in enhanced dynamics as well as ride comfort. 

At the front, engineers employed a completely redesigned strut-type suspension in the Polo.  The front wheels are moved forwards by five millimetres to achieve a greater caster angle, and this in turn offers greater directional stability.  New strut bushes are also used which are lighter.  Due to the car’s new exterior design and slightly flared wheelarches, larger wheels can now be fitted, with benefits on rolling resistance and ride quality.

Electro-mechanical power steering
All Polos benefit from a speed-sensitive power-assisted steering system.  This is able to vary the weight of the steering according to speed and driving conditions: higher weight at the rim at speed and lighter when parking.  Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy by consuming less energy from the engine.

The system was fitted to the previous generation Polo, and has been adapted for the new car’s front suspension.  Steering feel and responsiveness, as well as the centring action have been improved.

Braking system
For the first time, this latest generation Polo came as standard with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) across the range, reinforcing Volkswagen’s commitment to safety.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front on all models.  At the rear the Polo is fitted with drum brakes on the lower powered models, and from 85 PS upwards, solid rear brake discs are standard.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

Hydraulic Brake Assist – HBA
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.    

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Polo is available in seven trim levels: S and S A/C, Match Edition (replaced Match in April 2013), SEL, R-Line Style and R-Line Style A/C (also added in April 2013),
R-Line, BlueGT and GTI.  A BlueMotion model is also offered.  For full price and specification details, please see the latest price list.

S 1.2-litre 60 PS
S 1.2-litre 70 PS

Both the above models feature the following standard features among a number of other items.  They are also available as S A/C which adds air conditioning:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) with EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR traction control
  • three rear head restraints and three-point seat belts
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags
  • side head/thorax airbag system, for front passengers
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • high level third brake light
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • warning buzzer and light for front seat belts if unfastened
  • central locking
  • driver’s seat with height adjustment
  • three-spoke steering wheel, height and reach adjustable
  • white instrument lighting
  • front electric windows
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • two bag hooks in luggage compartment
  • storage compartments in front and rear doors
  • folding rear seat backrest
  • RCD 310 DAB radio/MP3 compatible CD player with six speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external multimedia source
  • body-coloured bumpers and side sills
  • B-pillar in high-gloss black
  • 5J x 14 steel wheels with 175/70 R14 tyres
  • full size steel spare wheel

Match Edition 1.2-litre 60 PS
Match Edition 1.2-litre 70 PS

Match Edition 1.4-litre 85 PS
Match Edition 1.2-litre TDI 75 PS

Match Edition trim replaced Match in April 2013 (Match itself had replaced both Moda and SE trims from July 2011), and combines the most popular features of these and including extra specification.  It adds the following items over S:

  • matt chrome inserts on air vent and gear lever surrounds, handbrake button and door handles
  • electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors
  • front fog lights
  • front seat back storage pockets
  • remote central locking
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40 with variable load floor in bootspace
  • illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Bluetooth connection – Touch phone kit for Hands Free Profile compatible handsets
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface) with USB and iPod connection cables
  • passenger seat height adjustment
  • body-coloured door handles and door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • gloss black radiator grille with chrome-trimmed louvre
  • rear tinted windows from B-pillar back
  • multifunction computer (Midline)
  • reading lights (two front, one rear)
  • tyre pressure indicator
  • two-tone horn
  • 6J x 15 ‘Castille’ alloy wheels with 185/60 R15 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • rear parking sensors (enhancement of Match Edition over Match)
  • cruise control (enhancement of Match Edition over Match)
  • alarm (enhancement of Match Edition over Match)

SEL 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS
SEL 1.6-litre TDI 90 PS

SEL models gain the following over Match Edition:

  • chrome-trimmed front air intake surround
  • alarm with interior protection
  • carpet mats, front and rear
  • driver and front passenger under seat drawer
  • front centre armrest, with storage compartment
  • front footwell lighting
  • leather trimmed three-spoke steering wheel with chrome insert, leather gearknob and handbrake grip
  • 7J x 16 ‘Navarre’ alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

R-Line 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS

Over SEL, R-Line models gain the following:

  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • heat insulating rear tinted glass from B-pillar back
  • R-Line styling pack: unique bumpers, grille and side sills plus R-Line badging
  • aluminium-look pedals, R-Line kick plates
  • black rooflining; front sports seats with embroidered R-Line logo
  • leather-trimmed steering wheel with aluminium inserts and R-Line logo
  • 7J x 16 ‘Mallory’ alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

R-Line Style 1.2-litre 60 PS
R-Line Style 1.2-litre 70 PS

On top of the standard specification of the S models, these Polos gain the following style-related items of equipment.  An A/C model is also available which adds manual air conditioning:

  • R-Line styling kit: distinctive front and rear bumpers, a bespoke radiator grille and side skirts
  • body-coloured door handles and mirrors with integrated indicators
  • 7J x 16 ‘Rivazza’ alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • 15” steel spare wheel
  • Bluetooth touch phone kit

BlueGT 1.4-litre TSI ACT

The Polo BlueGT has a number of its own unique styling elements which distinguish it from other models in the range.  These include:

  • sports suspension, lowered by around 15 mm
  • GT badges front and rear
  • BlueGT styling pack: uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers, radiator grille and side sills
  • gloss black door mirrors
  • body-coloured rear spoiler
  • XDS electronic differential lock
  • multifunction computer, includes cylinder cut-off display for improved fuel consumption
  • cruise control
  • 7J x 17 ‘Montani’ alloy wheels with 215/40 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • steel space saver spare wheel

GTI
At the top of the Polo range is the GTI model, powered by an advanced 180 PS 1.4-litre four-cylinder 16-valve twin-charged TSI engine, linked to a compact seven-speed, twin-clutch DSG gearbox that transmits drive to the front wheels (see Engine section for performance data).

The GTI features substantial revisions over the standard car including a unique engine, gear ratios and the relocation of the battery from the engine bay to the boot to improve weight distribution.

New springs and dampers are fitted to sharpen responses, and give the GTI a 15 mm lower ride height than the conventional Polo; greater traction is assured in all conditions thanks to the standard XDS electronic cross-axle traction control system.

Polo GTI has a slightly narrower front and rear track (measuring 1,443 mm and
1,437 mm respectively, a reduction of 20 mm and 19 mm) when contrasted against the standard Polo – a trait shared between the conventional Golf and the GTI.

Exterior styling cues are carried over from the Golf GTI, with a new front bumper featuring a deep airdam joined by a honeycomb grille element with horizontal red strips and a simple GTI badge; subtle sill extensions wrap around the lower edge of the body while at the back, a new rear bumper features LED number-plate lights, a small diffuser and a pair of chrome-tipped exhausts.  17-inch ‘Monza’ alloy wheels and uprated brakes with red calipers complete the look.

Inside, the Polo has sports seats finished in red and black tartan trim, plus a flat-bottomed GTI steering wheel complete with gearshift paddles and red stitching.

The first-generation Polo GTI was first launched in the UK in 2002; just under 5,000 Polo GTI models have been sold to date in the UK.  Both three- and five-door models are available.

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Polo, allowing buyers to customise their vehicles further.  Factory-fitted options include alloy wheels up to 17 inches, Climatronic air conditioning system, parking sensors, cruise control, curtain airbags, fog lights with static cornering function, stereo upgrades, a satellite navigation system and Alcantara upholstery.  Retailers can offer customers a number of bespoke features including chrome trim accessories, towbars, bicycle carriers and sunblinds.  For full details on option availability please see the latest price list.  

Convenience Pack: self-dimming rear-view mirror and rain sensor
Optional on all models except S is a ‘thinking’ rear-view mirror.  It uses LCD technology to dim the mirror automatically when the system senses that the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver.  Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and readjust when appropriate. 

In conjunction with this are automatic windscreen wipers.  A rain sensor positioned behind the interior rear-view mirror on the windscreen activates the wiper system as required.  An infrared beam is reflected in different ways according to the pattern of moisture on a windscreen sensor.  Signals from the sensor are used to control the wipers.  When the wiper control is set to the normal ‘Intermittent’ position the wipers are automatically controlled from ‘off’ when the screen is dry through different delay intervals of intermittent wipe and on to two speeds of continuous operation.

Parking sensors
Usually a feature associated with cars in a higher class, but standard on all but the entry-level S model is a parking sensor system.  This essentially consists of a series of parking sensors located at the front and rear of the car which emit an audible warning signal to make the driver aware of objects in front of or behind the car.  Not only does this help to avoid car park knocks, it can also prevent accidents, for example, if a child runs out who may not have been seen.

RNS 315 satellite navigation/radio system
All Polos are available with Volkswagen’s RNS 315 satellite navigation system.  The installation uses a touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  Key features include a CD drive for navigation disc or audio CDs, playback with title display for MP3 files and an integrated SD memory card reader from which files can be retrieved.

The navigation function offers a moving map in the five-inch colour display panel, integrated direction symbols as well as spoken instructions. 

For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The Polo’s designers set themselves the goal of making the latest generation the safest Polo yet as well as aiming to attain five stars in the new, more stringent and more comprehensive Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) tests.  This has been achieved – see below for details.  The new car’s higher structural rigidity contributes to this goal.  In the footwell area alone, intrusion – related to the car body’s resistance to deformation in a frontal crash – was lowered by 50 per cent.  In the case of a side impact, the intrusion value was reduced by 20 per cent.

Frontal crash
In a frontal crash – such as an offset crash between two vehicles (with half vehicle overlap of both vehicles) that commonly occurs – the very rigid occupant cell creates a survival space for the driver and passenger.  At the front of the Polo, an extremely rigid bumper cross-member was specially designed for an offset crash, in that it takes the impact energy and distributes it to the side of the vehicle not directly affected by the impact.  As a result, both side frame members absorb the energy together.

The side frames were optimised to achieve a deceleration curve in a frontal crash that significantly reduces on occupant loads.  What’s more, the lower cross-member in the footwell area is designed as a form strengthened component, so it is not only is it lighter (by half) but also extremely strong, meaning footwell intrusion is reduced by up to 50 per cent compared to the previous model.  In turn, this reduces biomechanical loads to the feet and lower legs enormously.  The pedals in the Polo also offer passive protection; ideally they prevent injuries in a crash by freeing up space for the feet and lower legs.

The side body section, designed as a type of ring structure – together with the door framed within it – provides for additional form stability, even in frontal accidents with very little overlap.  In what are known as load paths, extremely strong, partially form-strengthened sheet metal reinforcements are used here too – in the A-pillar, the similarly braced door rail extending to the B-pillar, the roof frame and side sills.

Side impact
The Polo development team assigned special priority to effective side impact protection, since the crush zone in the area of the doors is relatively small.  When the Polo collides with an object on its side, the energy is channelled via the special form-strengthened B-pillar and profiled impact beams arranged diagonally in the door.  Compared to the previous model, the seat cross-member and side sills were significantly reinforced.  In this way, both the speed of the intruding object, or colliding vehicle in the crash as well as the intrusion itself, are reduced by 20 per cent in a side impact.

One of the most serious side impact accidents is when a vehicle collides with a tree from the side, simulated in the so-called ‘pole test’.  The Polo’s body offers an extremely high level of safety in this type of crash, thanks to a hot-formed and therefore very stable roof frame and rigid side sills.  Compared to the previous model, intrusion here was also considerably reduced – by 15 per cent.

Rear impact
The rear area of the new Polo was reinforced by especially strong side frames.  The fuel system is also given a protective enclosure.  In tandem with the very stable occupant cell described, the Polo fulfils the highest requirements in a crash involving collision to the rear body section as well.

Restraint systems
The Polo has a highly effective network of airbags as standard equipment, including combined head and thorax airbags (integrated in the front seatbacks), belt tensioners and seatbelt limiters plus a seatbelt warning indicator, head restraints that counteract whiplash (both front restraints), three rear head restraints and Isofix preparation for two rear child seats.  On the active side, the standard Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) completes the safety specification.

Pedestrian safety
As well as protecting its occupants, the Polo was also designed to be safe for other road users and in particular pedestrians.  Requirements relating to pedestrian safety were integrated early in the design phase of development work.  In the bonnet area, interior sheet metal was designed to provide maximum deformation space to prevent punching through onto the hard area of the engine block.  The hinges of the bonnet were also optimised for pedestrian safety.  In addition, the bumpers were integrated into this concept to guarantee the best possible protection of pedestrians.

Euro NCAP test results
The Polo was subjected to the more stringent Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash tests and received the best possible score of five stars, thanks to its comprehensive package of active and passive safety features.

During the tests, the Polo was subjected to a controlled collision with a barrier at a speed of 64 km/h, whereby the passenger cell remained virtually undamaged.  The crash dummies testify to the Polo’s high scores in the most important categories: occupant protection and child safety.  The structurally rigid body, among other things, contributes to this result.

Line-up with insurance groups
On many vehicles, even minor car park knocks can result in hefty repair bills.  To minimise them on the Polo, the front bumper system consists of a highly stable cross-member with integrated softer deformation elements.  By targeting reinforcement measures in the lower side frames, it was possible to increase the force level in the side frame by 25 per cent compared to the previous model.  This means crash energy can be readily absorbed by the easy-to-replace bumper system, while more expensive sub-assemblies such as the radiator and climate control components are protected by the side frames.  Consequently, repair bills from such accidents are considerably lower.

Thanks to its extensive security and safety features, the Polo secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).  Ratings are out of 50; ‘E’ denotes that the car exceeded the Thatcham (ABI) requirements:

S
1.2-litre 60 PS                           4E
1.2-litre 70 PS                           5E

BlueMotion
1.2-litre TDI 75 PS                     9E

Match
1.2-litre 60 PS                           4E
1.2-litre 70 PS                           6E
1.4-litre 85 PS                           9E
1.2-litre TDI 75 PS                     9E

SEL
1.2-litre TSI 105 PS                    13E
1.6-litre TDI 90 PS                     13E

R-Line
1.2-litre TSI 105 PS                    14E

BlueGT
1.4-litre TSI ACT 140 PS 23E     

GTI
1.4-litre 180 PS                          30E

WARRANTIES AND CHRONOLOGY

The Polo has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) / 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Roadside Assistance which includes European breakdown cover. 

The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

HISTORY

34 YEARS, OVER 10 MILLION SALES WORLDWIDE:
FIVE GENERATIONS OF THE POLO

1975 

POLO Mk I LAUNCHED IN THE UK
Launched with one 900 cc, 40 PS engine available
Length: 3,505 mm
Width: 1,562 mm
Height: 1,334 mm
Wheelbase: 2,337 mm

1976 

Larger engine; 1.1-litre 50 PS introduced to the range

1979

500,000th Polo produced

1981

POLO Mk II LAUNCHED
1,043 cc 40 PS, 1.1-litre 50 PS and same capacity Formel E engines. 
Formel E designed to run on four rather than two star petrol
Length: 3,655 mm (+ 650 mm)
Width: 1,580 mm (+ 18 mm)
Height: 1,355 mm (+ 21 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,335 mm (- 2 mm)

1982

First Polo Coupé introduced with 1,093 cc 50 PS engine

1983

1,000,000th Polo produced

1986 

2,000,000th Polo produced

1990

Comprehensive facelift
Length: 3,765 mm (+ 110 mm)
Width: 1,570 mm (- 10 mm)
Height: 1,350 mm (- 5 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,335 mm (+ 0 mm)
Polo becomes first small car to be fitted with catalyst as standard to meet emissions legislation

1991 

3,000,000th Polo produced
Polo G40 with 1.3-litre 112 PS engine launched

1995

POLO Mk III LAUNCHED 
Launch engines include 1.0-litre 45 PS, 1.3-litre 55 PS, 1.6-litre
75 PS petrols and a 1.9-litre 64 PS diesel
First time for: diesel engine, five-door bodystyle, automatic transmission and a standard driver’s airbag on all but the entry-level E model
4,000,000th Polo produced
Length: 3,715 mm (- 50 mm)
Width: 1,655 mm (+ 85 mm)
Height: 1,420 mm (+ 70 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (+ 65 mm)

1996 

Polo Saloon launched – replacing Polo Classic
Polo Harlequin introduced with 1.4-litre 60 PS engine

1997 

Polo Estate launched
5,000,000th Polo produced

1998

6,000,000th Polo produced

2000

UK launch of facelifted model
Engine highlights include 1.4-litre TDI PD diesel and, for the first time, a GTI.
This featured a 1.6-litre 125 PS engine and modifications in appearance
At 25th anniversary 6,480,000 Polos had been built

2001 

7,000,000th Polo produced
New Saloon and Estate launched

2002 

POLO Mk IV LAUNCHED
Class-first as all models feature ABS and twin front airbags as standard
Length: 3,897 mm (+ 182 mm)
Width: 1,650 mm (- 5 mm)
Height: 1,465 mm (+ 45 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,460 mm (+ 60 mm)

2003

8,000,000th Polo produced
1.4-litre 85 PS FSI direct injection petrol model launched.  Polo becomes first Volkswagen in the UK to feature this technology
Twist model launched

2004

Polo Dune launched – a five-door variant featuring raised suspension and enhanced bodywork.  Available with a 1.2-litre 65 PS three-cylinder petrol; a 1.4-litre 75 PS four-cylinder petrol; and a 1.4-litre 75 PS TDI three-cylinder diesel

2005 

9,000,000th Polo produced
International debut of the revised Polo at the Leipzig Show in April
Revised Polo on sale in the UK from June 2005
Length: 3,916 mm (+ 19mm)
Width: 1,650 mm (+ 0 mm)
Height: 1,467 mm (+ 2 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,460 mm (+ 0 mm)

2006 

Most powerful production Polo ever is launched – GTI is fitted with 1.8-litre Turbo 150 PS engine
Revised Polo Dune launched with 1.4-litre 75 PS petrol and 1.4-litre TDI 70 PS diesel engines

2007 

10,000,000th Polo produced
BlueMotion technology debuts in the UK on the Polo.  Model launched with a
1.4-litre TDI 80 PS engine which returns 74.3 mpg and emits just 99 g/km of CO2

2009

POLO Mk V LAUNCHED

International debut of the Polo Mk V at Geneva Motor Show
Length: 3,970 mm (+ 54 mm)
Width: 1,682 mm (+ 32 mm)
Height: 1,462 mm (- 5 mm)

7 August – released for ordering

16 October – ‘on sale’ and first customer deliveries

November – Polo named European Car of the Year 2010

December – three-door model arrives

2010

April – Polo named 2010 World Car of the Year

May – Polo BlueMotion ‘on sale’ and first customer deliveries

July – 180 PS GTI model on sale

2011

2012

 

 

2013

November – Motorsport starts Polo WRC testing programme

April – Polo R-Line introduced

May – Bluetooth standard across the Polo range (except S)

May – DAB becomes standard across the range

December – Polo BlueGT with Active Cylinder Technology on sale

January – Polo WRC makes debut at Monte Carlo Rally

April – Match Edition replaces Match, equipment enhancements across the range and R-Line Style introduced

(ends)

Polo 0213 KT [0909 / 0111 / 0911]

Thirty-four years after the original Polo was announced, the fifth generation of Volkswagen’s evergreen supermini went on sale.  With each generation change the Polo has become larger and more technically advanced, yet it has remained true to the brand’s core values of safety, reliability, quality and value for money throughout that time.  That’s why the Polo remains a popular choice and the second best-selling Volkswagen model after the Golf.  It’s also a versatile vehicle, and with a wide range of engine and equipment levels, there is a Polo to appeal to every customer from teenagers to pensioners alike.

The fifth generation Polo made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009.  Series production started later that month with European sales beginning in June.  Volkswagen UK began taking orders for the new Polo on 7 August, with the first customer deliveries taking place on the ‘on-sale’ date of 16 October.  Three-door models followed in December 2009.

Penned under the control of the Volkswagen Group’s Head of Design, Walter de Silva, it’s little surprise and certainly no accident that the new Polo bears strong resemblance to the Golf and other Volkswagen models, with its face in line with the so-called ‘Volkswagen DNA’.  It is larger yet considerably lighter than the model it replaced, contributing to improved fuel economy and emissions.

The standard Polo is available with a choice of eight engines: six petrol and two diesel.  These are a pair of naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre engines with 60 or 70 PS, a 1.4-litre 85 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and, 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS with ACT Active Cylinder Management (BlueGT) and a 1.4-litre TSI 180 PS (GTI); plus two common rail TDI units: a 1.2-litre three-cylinder with 75 PS, and a 1.6-litre 90 PS.  All engines comply with Euro V emissions legislation. 

The Polo is offered in seven different trim levels: S and S A/C, Match Edition (replaced Match in April 2013), SEL, R-Line Style and R-Line Style A/C (introduced in April 2013), R-Line, BlueGT and GTI.  All models offer a class-leading level of specification with four airbags, ABS, ESP and DAB digital radio receiver standard on every Polo. 

In addition to the standard line-up is a BlueMotion model with a 1.2-litre 75 PS TDI which returns 80.7 mpg and emits 91 g/km of carbon dioxide (for which there is a separate press pack).

Optional equipment traditionally associated with cars in higher classes is also offered on the Polo, including touchscreen satellite navigation and climate control.

Since launch, the Polo has received international acclaim, being named European Car of the Year and 2010 World Car of the Year.  Several months before the vehicle’s launch, the Polo BlueMotion, along with the highly efficient Golf and Passat BlueMotion models, was also named 2010 World Green Car of the Year.  In addition, the Polo has claimed the title of ‘Best Small Car’ at the 2010 Fleet World Honours as well as ‘Best Supermini’ from What Car? and Fleet News.

Volkswagen UK sold 41,901 Polos in 2012.

SUMMARY

  • Original Polo was announced in 1975.  European sales started in March of that year and in the UK in June
  • New, fifth generation Polo announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009, production started later that month, European sales began in June 2009
  • UK five-door sales commenced in October 2009; three-door in December
  • Total Polo sales worldwide amount to 10.6 million; over 1,060,000 in the UK
  • Larger, lighter, and safer than the previous generation, the Polo established new standards in the supermini class
  • Basic body structure weighs 7.5 per cent less than the version it replaced – despite being wider and longer.  This helps the new Polo deliver a 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy over the previous model
  • Polo now measures 3,970 mm in length (+54 mm over previous model); is 1,682 mm wide (+32 mm); and 1,462 high (-5 mm).  Clever use of interior space means increased head, shoulder and leg-room
  • Eight engines are available in the standard line-up (six petrol and two diesel, ranging from 60 to 180 PS).  In addition a Polo BlueMotion with a 1.2-litre TDI common rail diesel engine is included
  • Seven-speed DSG transmission appears in the new Polo for the first time
  • Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) is standard along with ABS; five star Euro NCAP result  
  • Styled by a team led by Walter de Silva (Head of Design, Volkswagen Group) the new Polo gains a distinctive look that draws on the design direction established by the Scirocco and Golf.  Clean, uncluttered lines mix with a thin, horizontal grille element framed by a set of sleek light units
  • Use of high quality materials and advanced production processes enhance the Polo’s interior.  White backlit dials mix with high-quality plastics and subtle aluminium highlights throughout the cabin
  • Touchscreen satellite navigation and climate control offered for the first time
  • The Polo is offered in seven different trim levels: S and S A/C, Match Edition (replaced Match in April 2013), SEL, R-Line Style and R-Line Style A/C (introduced in April 2013), R-Line, BlueGT and GTI.  All models offer class-leading specification with four airbags, ABS, ESP and DAB digital radio receiver standard on every Polo
  • Shown as a concept car at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show and available from June 2010, the Polo BlueMotion has a 1.2-litre three-cylinder common rail diesel engine developing 75 PS, Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems, a gearbox with revised ratios, optimised aerodynamics, suspension lowered by 15 mm and low rolling resistance tyres.  Key figures are 80.7 mpg combined and 91 g/km of CO2
  • The fleet market accounted for 37 per cent of Polo sales in 2012
  • The best-selling model overall is the Match 1.2-litre 60 PS 5dr
  • Volkswagen sold 41,901 Polos in 2012

Market information
The Polo is Volkswagen’s second best-selling car, after the Golf.  It competes in the supermini class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.  Volkswagen sold 41,901 Polos in the UK in 2012.

Nearly two-thirds of all Polos (63 per cent) are sold into the retail market, and the majority (86 per cent) are petrol-powered.  The most popular trim level is Match, accounting for around three-quarters of all sales.  Over 90 per cent of Polos are sold in the key specifications of S and Match Edition (replaced standard Match in April 2013).  The best-selling trim and engine combination overall is the Match Edition 1.2-litre 60 PS.  The three-door Polo is responsible for around a quarter of total sales. 

Production
The Polo is produced at two Volkswagen production facilities: Uitenhage in South Africa and the Volkswagen Navarra plant in Pamplona, Spain.

Volkswagen of South Africa
The Volkswagen of South Africa (VWSA) plant is situated in Uitenhage, an industrial city around 450 miles east of Cape Town.  More than half (260 000 m²) of the plant’s 501 000 m² area, consists of production facilities.  The plant was founded in 1946, under the name ‘South African Motor Assemblers and Distributors’.  In 1966, 10 years after Volkswagen AG requested more capital, the factory’s name was change to Volkswagen of South Africa.  In 1974 the factory became the sole property of Volkswagen AG.

From the time the very first Volkswagen Beetle left the production line on 31 August 1951, the product range of VWSA has expanded considerably.  As well as producing components for the entire Volkswagen Group, the Uitenhage plant currently produces the Polo and Polo Classic.  In 2008, a total of 92,025 vehicles were produced of which more than 40,000 were exported to markets in Great Britain and the Asia Pacific Region.  Approximately 5,500 people are employed at the company, making VWSA the biggest employer in the region.

VWSA is actively engaged in many different social improvement programmes in the area, and increasingly on a national level.  VWSA is also involved in environmental projects and job creation.  Of particular importance is VWSA’s involvement in the fight against HIV and AIDS; in fact VWSA was recognised by the Global Business Coalition in Washington in 2005 for the role it played in its HIV/AIDS drive.

Volkswagen Navarra
The factory grounds of Volkswagen Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, occupy an area of some 1,630,000 square metres, of which around 300,000 sq m is buildings.  The Polo is the only ‘full vehicle’ Volkswagen to be produced at this plant, which also makes engines.  Around 5,000 people are employed here.

Volkswagen Navarra, S.A. was set up in 1965 with the name of ‘AUTHI’ (Automóviles de Turismo Hispano Ingleses).  The first vehicle to be produced in 1966 was a green Morris 1100.  Nine years later, the plant was acquired by SEAT. The first car produced after the takeover in 1976 was a white SEAT 124.  In 1982 SEAT and Volkswagen concluded a joint cooperation agreement, after which the second-generation Polo went into production at Pamplona in 1984.  The name of the plant has been changed twice since it was set up in the capital of Navarra. In 1993 and under SEAT control, AUTHI became the ‘Fabrica Navarra de Autómoviles S.A.’.  When Volkswagen acquired the SEAT shares in 1994 the new subsidiary was renamed ‘Volkswagen Navarra’.  Since the start of production of the Polo in 1984, Volkswagen Navarra has built more than five million Polos.

Also on the site of the plant, is the ‘Polo Park’, a joint foundation of Volkswagen Navarra and the Caja de Ahorros de Navarra, the Navarra savings bank.  Occupying an area of over 20,000 sq m and inaugurated in 1999 by the Spanish King and Queen, the Polo Park is a centre for road safety.  Cycling proficiency tracks, a go-kart circuit, a road safety training area and interactive classrooms are used to teach road safety and traffic sense to around 10,000 school children a year.

DESIGN

At launch, the new Polo became one of the new Volkswagen design family members, and as such has strong similarities with the Scirocco and Golf.  A precondition for implementing this design philosophy is the combination of progressive and highly innovative development and production techniques.  Designers, development engineers and production experts at Volkswagen work together far more closely than is usual, and this is to achieve a level of quality – both technical and visual – that is generally found only in cars from higher classes.  Under the leadership of Volkswagen Group chairman, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, experts including Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann (Group Board Member for Production), Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Development) and Walter de Silva (Head of Group Design) combine their creative energies to design and produce cars like the Polo.

Dimensions
The new Polo is longer and wider than its predecessor but lower, giving it a more purposeful appearance and dynamic stance.  The wheelbase was lengthened slightly by 4 mm to 2,470 mm, while track width was substantially increased by 29 mm at the front to 1,463 mm and by 30 mm to 1,456 mm at the rear. 

Despite the fact the car is not as tall as before, inside, head, leg and shoulder-room are all improved meaning this is a supermini that can accommodate five adults. 

 

Polo

(mm)

Previous Polo (mm)

Difference

(mm)

length, mm

3970

3916

+54

width, w/out door mirrors, mm

1682

1650

+32

height, mm

1462

1467

-5

wheelbase, mm

2470

2466

+4

maximum luggage capacity

 

 

 

w/out rear seat folded, litres

280

270

+10

with rear seat folded, litres

952

1030

-78

Exterior
The design of the Polo is modern, clean and efficient.  In contrast to so many cars in the supermini sector the Polo is crafted to be timeless and does not follow short-term fashion trends.  As already mentioned, its dimensions give a purposeful and dynamic stance, while the design itself is defined by sharp, precise lines without stylistic gimmicks.  Volkswagen’s consistently high resale values are in part due to these qualities.

Head of Design for the Volkswagen Group, Walter de Silva declared ‘La Semplicità’ (simplicity) as his design philosophy for the Polo.  He explains: ‘Elegance and emotionality, sportiness and dynamics, continue to guide design and styling.  In pursuit of simplicity and clarity, one must carefully consider how to express the intentions of designers while speaking to those of the observer.’   

His starting point for the design was the Volkswagen brand itself and its history and values.  De Silva continues: ‘Certain distinctive design elements have evolved as typical of the brand.  Mastery of the architecture and a balance of proportions have formed the foundation, the emphasis on horizontal lines has evolved into a unifying characteristic across models, and a literal love for details has become an essential means of expression… Reduced radii, tight seams and extremely sharp panel edges in its side profile, engine hood and tailgate underscore the car’s logical design concept.’

Front design
The Volkswagen family face, with its flat grille and band of headlights that has typified the brand ever since the launch of the Scirocco, was adapted for the Polo and emphasises the car’s additional width.  It also conveys an image of the car’s very low centre of gravity.  Integrated in the ‘face’ are the Polo’s body-coloured bumpers beneath the black grille, and in a third horizontal line below this, there is another large air inlet.  Just a few centimetres above the road is a narrow body-coloured front spoiler.  This has been moved forward and enhances the car’s pedestrian protection credentials.

Rear design
The rear of the car is characterised by geometric order and sportiness.  The design cue from the headlights, with their line breaking off with an upward turn, is taken up again in the taillights.  They also display a distinctive night look and extend into the Polo’s broad shoulder.

Supported on these shoulders – in the area of the car’s lateral ‘character line’ that can be seen from every perspective – is the roof section.  The tailgate extends right down to the bumper, and just as on the Golf, the Polo’s boot is opened with the VW logo, which swivels up and functions as a handle.  A subtle roof spoiler is integrated in the tailgate.

Side design
The Polo’s side profile is largely dominated by the sporty front overhang and extremely short rear overhang, the clearly defined ‘character line’ and low roof that slopes towards the rear.  The prominent shoulder line also gives the vehicle a new lateral structure and purposeful appearance.

Since the fourth generation, the five-door Polo has also sported what is known as a ‘three window look’, referring to the third side window which is integrated in the C-pillar.  This design feature is especially prominent on the new Polo.  In the area of the A- and C-pillars, the lower window line also takes an upward sweep, a reference to the styling of the headlights and taillights.  Also striking are the pronounced side skirts, which not only look sporty but also offer aerodynamic benefits.  The Polo’s underbody – a part rarely seen – is also adapted for optimal airflow, while the car’s redesigned exterior mirrors also reduce air resistance for this component by 20 per cent compared to the previous model.

Build quality
The quality and rigidity of a vehicle’s body structure are evident to the occupants from the general feeling of refinement, low noise levels and lack of vibration.  The Polo has clearly been designed and manufactured to be among the most rigid and safest in its class.  A car’s body rigidity is a key indicator to safety, noise, ride and refinement performance.  The high static rigidity of the Polo is attained in large part through the use of high-strength steels and attention to its structural design to reduce vibration.

It’s important to note that static rigidity was not attained at the cost of added weight.  In fact the body structure of the Polo is 7.5 per cent lighter than that of the previous model, despite its safety gains.

As well as having high static rigidity, the Polo also maintains a high dynamic rigidity, an essential factor in attaining good ride and handling, and reducing noise and vibration.  On the Polo, the combination of an optimal structural layout of the car body, clever material selection and innovative welding and adhesive processes result in top values of 43 Hz for the so-called torsional natural frequency and 46 Hz for the bending natural frequency.  In all relevant body zones, high local rigidity values also provide for good sound insulation and therefore exceptionally low levels of interior noise.

Interior
In designing the Polo’s interior, developers once again set themselves the target of giving the car the level of quality and comfort that occupants would expect to find in a vehicle from one or several classes above.  This meant providing the best in ergonomics, regardless of the size of the driver and passengers, as well as every surface and switch being easy and pleasant to touch.  To achieve this, the surface of the instrument panel is upgraded by so-called ‘slush technology’, a high-end surface structure which is soft to touch yet durable.

The centre console is turned slightly towards the driver for convenience, and the controls on this console are laid out intuitively and logically.  At the top there are two central air vents, which have high gloss black bezel surrounds (matt chrome from Match Edition upwards).  Below, Polo drivers will find a familiar row of switches for the hazard lights, heated rear window and optional heated seats.  The next level down contains controls for the new radio and satellite navigation systems that were all being introduced on the Polo for the first time.  Top of the range equipment here is the optional RNS 315 – a radio-navigation system with touchscreen, multimedia interface, MP3 functionality (via CD or SD card) and AUX-IN socket.  The lowermost console level is home to the heating and ventilation controls.

The Polo’s instruments were also redesigned, and Volkswagen’s traditional blue dials have given way to white backlighting.  The fuel gauge is now digital.  DAB digital radio is standard on every Polo, while Bluetooth connection via a touch phone kit is also available on all but the entry-level S and S A/C trims.

For maximum comfort, practicality and versatility, the driver’s seat, front passenger’s seat and rear bench seat were all redesigned offering more space at all five seating locations in the Polo.  In particular, knee-room in the rear has grown with an increase in the interior length to 1,674 mm (+8 mm) while shoulder-room in the front (1,372 mm) has also increased by 22 mm.  The rear bench seat can be easily folded (60:40 split on all except S trim) to give a level bootspace.  Also standard on all Polos except the entry-level S trim is a variable loadspace floor which offers additional flexibility.

Climate control
The Polo has sophisticated heating and ventilation controls.  On all but the entry-level S and R-Line Style models, Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning is standard.  This also includes a coolable glovebox.  To keep the cabin fresh and well ventilated there is a good flow of air to front and rear passengers, as well as a pollen filter which operates in both fresh-air and recirculating-air modes.  Using a simple dial control, the Climatic system maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically whatever the temperature outside.

On all except S and R-Line Style, customers can choose to upgrade to fully automatic electronic climate control air conditioning.  The system’s intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetrating the cabin and compensates for it. 

As an example of further attention to detail, the system switches automatically to recirculating-air mode when reversing and when the windscreen washer sprays are used; the fresh air supply is momentarily cut to prevent smells – of exhaust and windscreen wash – from entering.

ENGINES

The standard Polo is available with a choice of six petrol and two diesel engines. 

These are a pair of naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre engines with 60 or 70 PS, a 1.4-litre 85 PS, a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS with ACT Active Cylinder Management and a 1.4-litre TSI 180 PS; plus two common rail TDI units: a 1.2-litre three-cylinder with 75 PS, and a 1.6-litre 90 PS.  All engines comply with Euro V emissions legislation.  A BlueMotion model with 1.2-litre TDI 75 PS is also available.

Petrol engines

1.2-litre, 1198 cc, 12-valve 3-cyl, 60 and 70 PS
These proven engines were in large part carried over from the previous generation Polo.  However they were further improved with reduced weight and enhanced acoustics and modified to attain the Euro V emissions standard.  One key technical modification was an optimised reduced-noise chain for the timing and oil pump drives.  Engine management and aerodynamic improvements resulted in fuel consumption savings of an average of 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres.  Carbon dioxide emissions were similarly reduced from 138 to 128 g/km.

Both three-cylinder units have four valves per cylinder and are fitted with a balancer shaft to ensure good refinement. 

Producing 60 PS at 5,200 rpm, this entry-level engine generates a maximum torque of 108 Nm (80 lbs ft) at 3,000 rpm.  Fitted with this engine the Polo can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 16.1 seconds and go on to a top speed of 98 mph.  It returns a combined fuel consumption of 51.4 mpg and emits 128 g/km of CO2.

The higher powered unit produces 70 PS at 5,400 rpm and 112 Nm (83 lbs ft) of torque at 3,000 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes 14.1 seconds and top speed is 103 mph.  Economy is impressive and the same as for the lower-powered unit at 51.4 mpg (combined) and COemissions are 128 g/km.

These engines are fitted as standard with a five-speed manual gearbox.

1.4-litre, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 85 PS
The 1.4-litre petrol unit was equipped for the latest model generation with new engine electronics and a revised injection system.  This lightweight (95 kg) four-cylinder aluminium block engine produces 85 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 132 Nm (97 lbs ft) is available at 3,800 rpm. 

For the first time on a Polo, this engine is available with an optional seven-speed DSG automatic transmission in addition to the standard five-speed manual gearbox.

Performance is lively with 0 to 62 mph coming up in 11.9 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph.  This Polo has a fuel consumption figure of 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle (48.7 DSG) and carbon dioxide emissions of 139 g/km (134 DSG).

TSI petrol engine technology
The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity.  Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply supercharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute.  This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds.  As an additional bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

TSI technology has received international acclaim.  After being recognised in the International Engine of the Year Awards since 2006 when it was named Best New Engine, in 2009 TSI technology won a trio of awards: the overall accolade of Best International Engine of the Year, Best Green Engine and Best Engine in the 1.0- to 1.4-litre category.   In 2013, the 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine won this category for the seventh consecutive time, making it the most successful engine in the 15-year history of the competition.  In addition, in 2013 Volkswagen received the coveted ‘Best New Engine Award’ for its TSI technology in combination with automatic cylinder deactivation (ACT).

1.2-litre TSI, 1198 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS
This turbocharged unit produces peak power of 105 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 175 Nm (129 lbs ft) from 1,550 up to 4,100 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes just 9.7 seconds and top speed is 118 mph.  It is available with a six-speed manual gearbox only.  This car has a combined economy figure of 53.3 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of 124 g/km. 

1.4-litre TSI ACT (Active Cylinder Technology), 1395 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS
The Polo BlueGT, which was introduced into the UK in December 2012, was the first Volkswagen production car to mix the performance of a petrol motor with the frugality of a diesel through the use of ACT cylinder deactivation.

At its heart, and responsible in large part for its combination of high performance and low fuel economy, is Volkswagen’s EA211 engine.  Under light and medium loads, the second and third cylinders are automatically shut down, producing fuel savings of up to 0.4 litres per 100 km in the EU driving cycle.  At a constant 50 kmh (30 mph) the savings can be as much as one litre per 100 km, and even at 70 kmh (44 mph) in fifth gear, around 0.7 litres per 100 km can be saved.

Cylinder deactivation occurs at engine speeds of between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of 25 to 100 Nm (18 to 74 lbs ft).  If the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the two cylinders are imperceptibly reactivated.  All mechanical switchovers occur within 13 to 36 milliseconds, depending on engine speed.  The multifunction display in the instrument binnacle lets the driver know when cylinders are deactivated.

The results speak for themselves: the Polo BlueGT’s turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine produces 140 PS and 250 Nm (185 lbs ft) of torque, yet it returns 61.4 mpg on the combined cycle and emits just 107 g/km of CO2, whether drivers opt for the six-speed manual or the seven-speed DSG transmission.  Top speed is 130 mph and zero to 62 mph takes just 7.9 seconds. 

1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 180 PS
Powering the range-topping GTI model is a twincharged 1.4-litre TSI unit.  The TSI engine uses a supercharger to eliminate lag and provide high torque from idling speed.  At higher engine speeds a turbocharger takes over.  The result is an output of 180 PS at 6,200 rpm (a 30 PS rise over previous generation) which allows the Polo GTI to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds, and go on to a top speed of 142 mph.  Maximum torque is 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) from 2,000 up to 4,500 rpm.

The latest Polo GTI is 25 per cent more fuel efficient than the model it replaces, returning 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km.

The GTI features substantial revisions over the standard car – for details please see the ‘Equipment and trim’ section of this press pack. 

Diesel engines
The fifth generation Polo was the first to use common rail diesel technology.  Two diesel engines are available:  a1.2-litre TDI 75 PS and a 1.6-litre 90 PS.  Both comply with Euro V emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which reduces particulate emissions to below five mg/km. 

Using a common rail system, the diesel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to 1,600 bar.  Piezo actuators control multiple injections with highly precise fuel quantities and timing.  In an effort to reduce internal engine friction, crankshaft, valve and oil pump drives were optimised, while a square bore/stroke ratio minimises friction losses at the cylinder liners.  Losses were also reduced in oil and coolant circuits as well as the air induction system.

1.2-litre, 1199 cc TDI CR, 12-valve 3-cyl, 75 PS
The Polo’s entry-level diesel engine produces 75 PS at 4,200 rpm and 180 Nm (133 lbs ft) of torque at 2,000 rpm.  Zero to 62 mph takes 13.9 seconds while top speed is 105 mph.  Where this engine excels is on economy: it returns 72.4 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting just 102 g/km of CO2.  This engine is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.

This engine is also at the heart of the Polo BlueMotion model (see separate press pack).  In this variant, with added economy measures and a raft of modifications, it returns 80.7 mpg and boasts CO2 emissions of just 91 g/km.

1.6-litre, 1598 cc TDI CR, 16-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS
For those looking for additional performance, this is the most powerful diesel Polo available.  Also driving through a five-speed manual gearbox, this engine produces 90 PS at 4,200 rpm and 230 Nm (170 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm.  The 0 to 62 mph sprint takes 11.5 seconds and this Polo goes on to a top speed of 112 mph.  The combined economy figure is 65.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are 112 g/km.

Gearboxes
All Polos have a standard five-speed manual gearbox, except for the 1.2-litre 105 PS and 1.4-litre TSI ACT 140 PS which have a six-speed transmission.  The 1.4-litre 85 PS and 140 PS petrol engines are also available with the option of a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox; this gearbox is standard on the range-topping GTI model.

DSG – Direct Shift Gearbox
Launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) was a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and fuel efficiency of a manual unit.  Essentially it uses two clutches, one to control the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, the other to operate the ‘even’ gears.  With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are exhibited with some transmissions no longer occur thanks to an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) control system.

The system enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, while the clutch for fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.  Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process can be completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. 

The seven-speed unit seen here in the Polo uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact. 

In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear train, the second feeds oil to the gear-change actuators.  Since the clutches do not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed to only 1.7-litres in the seven-speed DSG system.

Servicing
Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Polo.  They can choose Fixed of Flexible Service, and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

Fixed Service is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used for:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the Flexible system, the vehicle can cover between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between servicing regimes at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.        

RUNNING GEAR

For the latest generation, Volkswagen significantly redesigned many aspects of the Polo’s running gear which utilises strut-type front suspension and semi-independent rear suspension.  The track width was increased by 29 mm at the front and 30 mm at the rear, resulting in enhanced dynamics as well as ride comfort. 

At the front, engineers employed a completely redesigned strut-type suspension in the Polo.  The front wheels are moved forwards by five millimetres to achieve a greater caster angle, and this in turn offers greater directional stability.  New strut bushes are also used which are lighter.  Due to the car’s new exterior design and slightly flared wheelarches, larger wheels can now be fitted, with benefits on rolling resistance and ride quality.

Electro-mechanical power steering
All Polos benefit from a speed-sensitive power-assisted steering system.  This is able to vary the weight of the steering according to speed and driving conditions: higher weight at the rim at speed and lighter when parking.  Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy by consuming less energy from the engine.

The system was fitted to the previous generation Polo, and has been adapted for the new car’s front suspension.  Steering feel and responsiveness, as well as the centring action have been improved.

Braking system
For the first time, this latest generation Polo came as standard with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) across the range, reinforcing Volkswagen’s commitment to safety.  Ventilated discs are fitted at the front on all models.  At the rear the Polo is fitted with drum brakes on the lower powered models, and from 85 PS upwards, solid rear brake discs are standard.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

Hydraulic Brake Assist – HBA
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.    

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Polo is available in seven trim levels: S and S A/C, Match Edition (replaced Match in April 2013), SEL, R-Line Style and R-Line Style A/C (also added in April 2013),
R-Line, BlueGT and GTI.  A BlueMotion model is also offered.  For full price and specification details, please see the latest price list.

S 1.2-litre 60 PS
S 1.2-litre 70 PS

Both the above models feature the following standard features among a number of other items.  They are also available as S A/C which adds air conditioning:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) with EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR traction control
  • three rear head restraints and three-point seat belts
  • driver’s and front passenger’s airbags
  • side head/thorax airbag system, for front passengers
  • driver’s and front passenger’s whiplash-optimised head restraints
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • high level third brake light
  • Isofix child seat preparation (for two rear child seats)
  • warning buzzer and light for front seat belts if unfastened
  • central locking
  • driver’s seat with height adjustment
  • three-spoke steering wheel, height and reach adjustable
  • white instrument lighting
  • front electric windows
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • two bag hooks in luggage compartment
  • storage compartments in front and rear doors
  • folding rear seat backrest
  • RCD 310 DAB radio/MP3 compatible CD player with six speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external multimedia source
  • body-coloured bumpers and side sills
  • B-pillar in high-gloss black
  • 5J x 14 steel wheels with 175/70 R14 tyres
  • full size steel spare wheel

Match Edition 1.2-litre 60 PS
Match Edition 1.2-litre 70 PS

Match Edition 1.4-litre 85 PS
Match Edition 1.2-litre TDI 75 PS

Match Edition trim replaced Match in April 2013 (Match itself had replaced both Moda and SE trims from July 2011), and combines the most popular features of these and including extra specification.  It adds the following items over S:

  • matt chrome inserts on air vent and gear lever surrounds, handbrake button and door handles
  • electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors
  • front fog lights
  • front seat back storage pockets
  • remote central locking
  • split folding rear seat backrest 60:40 with variable load floor in bootspace
  • illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Bluetooth connection – Touch phone kit for Hands Free Profile compatible handsets
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface) with USB and iPod connection cables
  • passenger seat height adjustment
  • body-coloured door handles and door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • gloss black radiator grille with chrome-trimmed louvre
  • rear tinted windows from B-pillar back
  • multifunction computer (Midline)
  • reading lights (two front, one rear)
  • tyre pressure indicator
  • two-tone horn
  • 6J x 15 ‘Castille’ alloy wheels with 185/60 R15 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • steel space saver spare wheel
  • rear parking sensors (enhancement of Match Edition over Match)
  • cruise control (enhancement of Match Edition over Match)
  • alarm (enhancement of Match Edition over Match)

SEL 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS
SEL 1.6-litre TDI 90 PS

SEL models gain the following over Match Edition:

  • chrome-trimmed front air intake surround
  • alarm with interior protection
  • carpet mats, front and rear
  • driver and front passenger under seat drawer
  • front centre armrest, with storage compartment
  • front footwell lighting
  • leather trimmed three-spoke steering wheel with chrome insert, leather gearknob and handbrake grip
  • 7J x 16 ‘Navarre’ alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

R-Line 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS

Over SEL, R-Line models gain the following:

  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • heat insulating rear tinted glass from B-pillar back
  • R-Line styling pack: unique bumpers, grille and side sills plus R-Line badging
  • aluminium-look pedals, R-Line kick plates
  • black rooflining; front sports seats with embroidered R-Line logo
  • leather-trimmed steering wheel with aluminium inserts and R-Line logo
  • 7J x 16 ‘Mallory’ alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

R-Line Style 1.2-litre 60 PS
R-Line Style 1.2-litre 70 PS

On top of the standard specification of the S models, these Polos gain the following style-related items of equipment.  An A/C model is also available which adds manual air conditioning:

  • R-Line styling kit: distinctive front and rear bumpers, a bespoke radiator grille and side skirts
  • body-coloured door handles and mirrors with integrated indicators
  • 7J x 16 ‘Rivazza’ alloy wheels with 215/45 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • 15” steel spare wheel
  • Bluetooth touch phone kit

BlueGT 1.4-litre TSI ACT

The Polo BlueGT has a number of its own unique styling elements which distinguish it from other models in the range.  These include:

  • sports suspension, lowered by around 15 mm
  • GT badges front and rear
  • BlueGT styling pack: uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers, radiator grille and side sills
  • gloss black door mirrors
  • body-coloured rear spoiler
  • XDS electronic differential lock
  • multifunction computer, includes cylinder cut-off display for improved fuel consumption
  • cruise control
  • 7J x 17 ‘Montani’ alloy wheels with 215/40 R17 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • steel space saver spare wheel

GTI
At the top of the Polo range is the GTI model, powered by an advanced 180 PS 1.4-litre four-cylinder 16-valve twin-charged TSI engine, linked to a compact seven-speed, twin-clutch DSG gearbox that transmits drive to the front wheels (see Engine section for performance data).

The GTI features substantial revisions over the standard car including a unique engine, gear ratios and the relocation of the battery from the engine bay to the boot to improve weight distribution.

New springs and dampers are fitted to sharpen responses, and give the GTI a 15 mm lower ride height than the conventional Polo; greater traction is assured in all conditions thanks to the standard XDS electronic cross-axle traction control system.

Polo GTI has a slightly narrower front and rear track (measuring 1,443 mm and
1,437 mm respectively, a reduction of 20 mm and 19 mm) when contrasted against the standard Polo – a trait shared between the conventional Golf and the GTI.

Exterior styling cues are carried over from the Golf GTI, with a new front bumper featuring a deep airdam joined by a honeycomb grille element with horizontal red strips and a simple GTI badge; subtle sill extensions wrap around the lower edge of the body while at the back, a new rear bumper features LED number-plate lights, a small diffuser and a pair of chrome-tipped exhausts.  17-inch ‘Monza’ alloy wheels and uprated brakes with red calipers complete the look.

Inside, the Polo has sports seats finished in red and black tartan trim, plus a flat-bottomed GTI steering wheel complete with gearshift paddles and red stitching.

The first-generation Polo GTI was first launched in the UK in 2002; just under 5,000 Polo GTI models have been sold to date in the UK.  Both three- and five-door models are available.

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Polo, allowing buyers to customise their vehicles further.  Factory-fitted options include alloy wheels up to 17 inches, Climatronic air conditioning system, parking sensors, cruise control, curtain airbags, fog lights with static cornering function, stereo upgrades, a satellite navigation system and Alcantara upholstery.  Retailers can offer customers a number of bespoke features including chrome trim accessories, towbars, bicycle carriers and sunblinds.  For full details on option availability please see the latest price list.  

Convenience Pack: self-dimming rear-view mirror and rain sensor
Optional on all models except S is a ‘thinking’ rear-view mirror.  It uses LCD technology to dim the mirror automatically when the system senses that the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver.  Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and readjust when appropriate. 

In conjunction with this are automatic windscreen wipers.  A rain sensor positioned behind the interior rear-view mirror on the windscreen activates the wiper system as required.  An infrared beam is reflected in different ways according to the pattern of moisture on a windscreen sensor.  Signals from the sensor are used to control the wipers.  When the wiper control is set to the normal ‘Intermittent’ position the wipers are automatically controlled from ‘off’ when the screen is dry through different delay intervals of intermittent wipe and on to two speeds of continuous operation.

Parking sensors
Usually a feature associated with cars in a higher class, but standard on all but the entry-level S model is a parking sensor system.  This essentially consists of a series of parking sensors located at the front and rear of the car which emit an audible warning signal to make the driver aware of objects in front of or behind the car.  Not only does this help to avoid car park knocks, it can also prevent accidents, for example, if a child runs out who may not have been seen.

RNS 315 satellite navigation/radio system
All Polos are available with Volkswagen’s RNS 315 satellite navigation system.  The installation uses a touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  Key features include a CD drive for navigation disc or audio CDs, playback with title display for MP3 files and an integrated SD memory card reader from which files can be retrieved.

The navigation function offers a moving map in the five-inch colour display panel, integrated direction symbols as well as spoken instructions. 

For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The Polo’s designers set themselves the goal of making the latest generation the safest Polo yet as well as aiming to attain five stars in the new, more stringent and more comprehensive Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) tests.  This has been achieved – see below for details.  The new car’s higher structural rigidity contributes to this goal.  In the footwell area alone, intrusion – related to the car body’s resistance to deformation in a frontal crash – was lowered by 50 per cent.  In the case of a side impact, the intrusion value was reduced by 20 per cent.

Frontal crash
In a frontal crash – such as an offset crash between two vehicles (with half vehicle overlap of both vehicles) that commonly occurs – the very rigid occupant cell creates a survival space for the driver and passenger.  At the front of the Polo, an extremely rigid bumper cross-member was specially designed for an offset crash, in that it takes the impact energy and distributes it to the side of the vehicle not directly affected by the impact.  As a result, both side frame members absorb the energy together.

The side frames were optimised to achieve a deceleration curve in a frontal crash that significantly reduces on occupant loads.  What’s more, the lower cross-member in the footwell area is designed as a form strengthened component, so it is not only is it lighter (by half) but also extremely strong, meaning footwell intrusion is reduced by up to 50 per cent compared to the previous model.  In turn, this reduces biomechanical loads to the feet and lower legs enormously.  The pedals in the Polo also offer passive protection; ideally they prevent injuries in a crash by freeing up space for the feet and lower legs.

The side body section, designed as a type of ring structure – together with the door framed within it – provides for additional form stability, even in frontal accidents with very little overlap.  In what are known as load paths, extremely strong, partially form-strengthened sheet metal reinforcements are used here too – in the A-pillar, the similarly braced door rail extending to the B-pillar, the roof frame and side sills.

Side impact
The Polo development team assigned special priority to effective side impact protection, since the crush zone in the area of the doors is relatively small.  When the Polo collides with an object on its side, the energy is channelled via the special form-strengthened B-pillar and profiled impact beams arranged diagonally in the door.  Compared to the previous model, the seat cross-member and side sills were significantly reinforced.  In this way, both the speed of the intruding object, or colliding vehicle in the crash as well as the intrusion itself, are reduced by 20 per cent in a side impact.

One of the most serious side impact accidents is when a vehicle collides with a tree from the side, simulated in the so-called ‘pole test’.  The Polo’s body offers an extremely high level of safety in this type of crash, thanks to a hot-formed and therefore very stable roof frame and rigid side sills.  Compared to the previous model, intrusion here was also considerably reduced – by 15 per cent.

Rear impact
The rear area of the new Polo was reinforced by especially strong side frames.  The fuel system is also given a protective enclosure.  In tandem with the very stable occupant cell described, the Polo fulfils the highest requirements in a crash involving collision to the rear body section as well.

Restraint systems
The Polo has a highly effective network of airbags as standard equipment, including combined head and thorax airbags (integrated in the front seatbacks), belt tensioners and seatbelt limiters plus a seatbelt warning indicator, head restraints that counteract whiplash (both front restraints), three rear head restraints and Isofix preparation for two rear child seats.  On the active side, the standard Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) completes the safety specification.

Pedestrian safety
As well as protecting its occupants, the Polo was also designed to be safe for other road users and in particular pedestrians.  Requirements relating to pedestrian safety were integrated early in the design phase of development work.  In the bonnet area, interior sheet metal was designed to provide maximum deformation space to prevent punching through onto the hard area of the engine block.  The hinges of the bonnet were also optimised for pedestrian safety.  In addition, the bumpers were integrated into this concept to guarantee the best possible protection of pedestrians.

Euro NCAP test results
The Polo was subjected to the more stringent Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash tests and received the best possible score of five stars, thanks to its comprehensive package of active and passive safety features.

During the tests, the Polo was subjected to a controlled collision with a barrier at a speed of 64 km/h, whereby the passenger cell remained virtually undamaged.  The crash dummies testify to the Polo’s high scores in the most important categories: occupant protection and child safety.  The structurally rigid body, among other things, contributes to this result.

Line-up with insurance groups
On many vehicles, even minor car park knocks can result in hefty repair bills.  To minimise them on the Polo, the front bumper system consists of a highly stable cross-member with integrated softer deformation elements.  By targeting reinforcement measures in the lower side frames, it was possible to increase the force level in the side frame by 25 per cent compared to the previous model.  This means crash energy can be readily absorbed by the easy-to-replace bumper system, while more expensive sub-assemblies such as the radiator and climate control components are protected by the side frames.  Consequently, repair bills from such accidents are considerably lower.

Thanks to its extensive security and safety features, the Polo secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).  Ratings are out of 50; ‘E’ denotes that the car exceeded the Thatcham (ABI) requirements:

S
1.2-litre 60 PS                           4E
1.2-litre 70 PS                           5E

BlueMotion
1.2-litre TDI 75 PS                     9E

Match
1.2-litre 60 PS                           4E
1.2-litre 70 PS                           6E
1.4-litre 85 PS                           9E
1.2-litre TDI 75 PS                     9E

SEL
1.2-litre TSI 105 PS                    13E
1.6-litre TDI 90 PS                     13E

R-Line
1.2-litre TSI 105 PS                    14E

BlueGT
1.4-litre TSI ACT 140 PS 23E     

GTI
1.4-litre 180 PS                          30E

WARRANTIES AND CHRONOLOGY

The Polo has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) / 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Roadside Assistance which includes European breakdown cover. 

The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

HISTORY

34 YEARS, OVER 10 MILLION SALES WORLDWIDE:
FIVE GENERATIONS OF THE POLO

1975 

POLO Mk I LAUNCHED IN THE UK
Launched with one 900 cc, 40 PS engine available
Length: 3,505 mm
Width: 1,562 mm
Height: 1,334 mm
Wheelbase: 2,337 mm

1976 

Larger engine; 1.1-litre 50 PS introduced to the range

1979

500,000th Polo produced

1981

POLO Mk II LAUNCHED
1,043 cc 40 PS, 1.1-litre 50 PS and same capacity Formel E engines. 
Formel E designed to run on four rather than two star petrol
Length: 3,655 mm (+ 650 mm)
Width: 1,580 mm (+ 18 mm)
Height: 1,355 mm (+ 21 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,335 mm (- 2 mm)

1982

First Polo Coupé introduced with 1,093 cc 50 PS engine

1983

1,000,000th Polo produced

1986 

2,000,000th Polo produced

1990

Comprehensive facelift
Length: 3,765 mm (+ 110 mm)
Width: 1,570 mm (- 10 mm)
Height: 1,350 mm (- 5 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,335 mm (+ 0 mm)
Polo becomes first small car to be fitted with catalyst as standard to meet emissions legislation

1991 

3,000,000th Polo produced
Polo G40 with 1.3-litre 112 PS engine launched

1995

POLO Mk III LAUNCHED 
Launch engines include 1.0-litre 45 PS, 1.3-litre 55 PS, 1.6-litre
75 PS petrols and a 1.9-litre 64 PS diesel
First time for: diesel engine, five-door bodystyle, automatic transmission and a standard driver’s airbag on all but the entry-level E model
4,000,000th Polo produced
Length: 3,715 mm (- 50 mm)
Width: 1,655 mm (+ 85 mm)
Height: 1,420 mm (+ 70 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (+ 65 mm)

1996 

Polo Saloon launched – replacing Polo Classic
Polo Harlequin introduced with 1.4-litre 60 PS engine

1997 

Polo Estate launched
5,000,000th Polo produced

1998

6,000,000th Polo produced

2000

UK launch of facelifted model
Engine highlights include 1.4-litre TDI PD diesel and, for the first time, a GTI.
This featured a 1.6-litre 125 PS engine and modifications in appearance
At 25th anniversary 6,480,000 Polos had been built

2001 

7,000,000th Polo produced
New Saloon and Estate launched

2002 

POLO Mk IV LAUNCHED
Class-first as all models feature ABS and twin front airbags as standard
Length: 3,897 mm (+ 182 mm)
Width: 1,650 mm (- 5 mm)
Height: 1,465 mm (+ 45 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,460 mm (+ 60 mm)

2003

8,000,000th Polo produced
1.4-litre 85 PS FSI direct injection petrol model launched.  Polo becomes first Volkswagen in the UK to feature this technology
Twist model launched

2004

Polo Dune launched – a five-door variant featuring raised suspension and enhanced bodywork.  Available with a 1.2-litre 65 PS three-cylinder petrol; a 1.4-litre 75 PS four-cylinder petrol; and a 1.4-litre 75 PS TDI three-cylinder diesel

2005 

9,000,000th Polo produced
International debut of the revised Polo at the Leipzig Show in April
Revised Polo on sale in the UK from June 2005
Length: 3,916 mm (+ 19mm)
Width: 1,650 mm (+ 0 mm)
Height: 1,467 mm (+ 2 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,460 mm (+ 0 mm)

2006 

Most powerful production Polo ever is launched – GTI is fitted with 1.8-litre Turbo 150 PS engine
Revised Polo Dune launched with 1.4-litre 75 PS petrol and 1.4-litre TDI 70 PS diesel engines

2007 

10,000,000th Polo produced
BlueMotion technology debuts in the UK on the Polo.  Model launched with a
1.4-litre TDI 80 PS engine which returns 74.3 mpg and emits just 99 g/km of CO2

2009

POLO Mk V LAUNCHED

International debut of the Polo Mk V at Geneva Motor Show
Length: 3,970 mm (+ 54 mm)
Width: 1,682 mm (+ 32 mm)
Height: 1,462 mm (- 5 mm)

7 August – released for ordering

16 October – ‘on sale’ and first customer deliveries

November – Polo named European Car of the Year 2010

December – three-door model arrives

2010

April – Polo named 2010 World Car of the Year

May – Polo BlueMotion ‘on sale’ and first customer deliveries

July – 180 PS GTI model on sale

2011

2012

 

 

2013

November – Motorsport starts Polo WRC testing programme

April – Polo R-Line introduced

May – Bluetooth standard across the Polo range (except S)

May – DAB becomes standard across the range

December – Polo BlueGT with Active Cylinder Technology on sale

January – Polo WRC makes debut at Monte Carlo Rally

April – Match Edition replaces Match, equipment enhancements across the range and R-Line Style introduced

(ends)

Polo 0213 KT [0909 / 0111 / 0911]

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