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17 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Twice as nice: Volkswagen RX Sweden Polos in World RX of Belgium final

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Belgium: Kristoffersson

In a similar performance to that at the second round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, both Volkswagen RX Sweden Polo RXs were among the front-runners at the third round of the series, the World RX of Belgium at Mettet. Both the 600bhp rallycross Polo Supercars of Johan Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund made it to the Supercar final at the 1.1km Circuit Jules Tacheny.

Fastest time
Kristoffersson once again – as at Hockenheim – set the winning pace in the Free Practice sessions on day one, and claimed the fastest time. The Swedish driver started form third on the grid in the Supercar final on day two, but a technical issue with his Polo meant he failed to capitalise on his prominent grid position.

Marklund meanwhile stormed into the lead and the first corner from the third row of the grid in the same race, and was awarded the Monster Energy Supercharge award. With both Volkswagen RX Sweden cars in the Supercar final, the team has closed the gap in the overall teams’ standings with 83 points. Kristoffersson’s sixth overall performance in Mettet leaves him third in the drivers’ championship points table, while Marklund’s fourth puts him 11th in the individual standings.

‘Good confidence’
Kristoffersson was pleased with his Polo RX’s speed: ‘I had a pretty good feeling through the whole weekend. I like the track in Belgium and I know the car suits it well. I came here with good confidence, we had the speed to win both of the first two events and I knew we would have the pace here.

‘Me and Anton finished side-by-side in Q1 but after that in every race I started in a worse position. The start at Mettet is so crucial: it’s just so competitive now. I was driving within myself and we used new tyres for the semi-final and things were looking pretty good. It feels like we still have a big headwind but the team is really great and we know we have the speed, so that is very positive.’

Marklund was pleased with his best result of the season: ‘The pace has been really good all weekend. The guys worked so hard on the car between the races and our engine guys have done some really good work this weekend. We made a brilliant start from the last row, but after a small mistake at the chicane on the back straight we slipped down the placings. That’s where I lost a podium finish. Fourth is really good but the pace was there for the podium.’

EKS’ Mattias Ekstrom lead the 49-car Supercar field to victory at the World RX of Belgium. The fourth round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Great Britain, takes place at Lydden Hill in Kent from 27-29 May.


1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 78
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 73
3 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 58
4 Toomas Heikkinen, Audi S1: 46
5 Robin Larsson, Audi A1: 38


1 EKS: 124
2 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 83
3 Team Peugeot Hansen: 77
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 43
5 World RX Team Austria: 39

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com]

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13 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Super sounds: Polo Beats special edition hits the UK from £13,910

2016 Volkswagen Polo Beats

After an appearance at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, the special edition and distinctive Polo Beats is now available to order in the UK. Prices start at £13,910 for the 59bhp 1.0 BlueMotion Technology (BMT) model with enhanced styling features and a 300-watt sound system which gives the car its name.

Eight-channel audio system
At the heart of the Polo Beats is the eight-channel, digital sound processor (DSP)-equipped super-sounding audio system provided by Californian music company Beats Electronics, more well-known for its range of hipster-friendly headphones. For comparison purposes, the standard Polo Match comes with an 80-watt sound system – the new Polo special ‘beats’ (sorry) that by almost four times.

Seven speakers – two A-pillar tweeters, two front door woofers, two broadband speakers in the rear and a spare wheel well subwoofer – come as standard and along with the DSP ‘delivers high-performance audio processing that gives clarity and definition’, according to Volkswagen. The car also speaks (shouts?) about its audio pedigree with ‘Beats’ side skirt decals, and B-pillar badges.

Further differentiators include 16-inch ‘Knight’ alloy wheels, darkened rear light units, a high-gloss black front grille, ‘Flash Red’, ‘Pure White’ or ‘Black’ door mirrors, and rear privacy glass. Inside, as well as the upgraded audio, is a pair of sport seats with alcantara side bolsters and ‘Beats’ cloth, red-striped seatbelts, LED footwell lighting, and ‘Cortina Silver’ centre console and air vent trim, as well as leatherette door panels, red-edged floor mats and ‘Beats’-branded door sill protectors.

2016 Volkswagen Polo Beats

Three or five doors, four engines
The Polo Beats comes with three or five doors, and a choice of four engines. A trio of 1.0 and 1.2-litre petrol engines offer power from 59 to 89bhp, while a 1.4-litre TDI version emits just 93g/km of CO2 and has a claimed economy figure of 83.1mpg. The petrol models offer emissions from 106 to 108g/km, and claimed economy from 58.9 to 60.1mpg. All have Volkswagen’s BlueMotion Technology, with the 1.2 TSI also having the option of a seven-speed DSG gearbox.

Slotting in-between the Match and SEL models, the Polo Beats features a 6.5-inch ‘Composition Media’ infotainment system, manual air conditioning, cruise control, and parking sensors. It also adds Volkswagen’s Car-Net ‘App-Connect’, which combines Apple ‘CarPlay’, Google ‘Android Auto’ and ‘MirrorLink’ and allows the ‘mirroring’ of the smartphone display on the infotainment touchscreen via a USB connection.

The Polo Beats is available to order from Volkswagen Retailers now, with first deliveries expected to arrive this month. For more details, visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

1.0 BMT 59bhp, 106g/km, five-speed manual, 3dr: £13,910
1.0 BMT 59bhp, 106g/km, five-speed manual, 5dr: £14,540
1.0 BMT 74bhp, 108g/km, five-speed manual, 3dr: £14,435
1.0 BMT 74bhp, 108g/km, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,065

1.2 TSI BMT 89bhp, 107g/km, five-speed manual, 3dr: £15,055
1.2 TSI BMT 89bhp, 107g/km, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,685
1.2 TSI BMT 89bhp, 109g/km, seven-speed DSG, 3dr: £16,430
1.2 TSI BMT 89bhp, 109g/km, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: £17,060
1.2 TSI BMT 89bhp, 109g/km, seven-speed DSG, 3dr: £16,430

1.4 TDI BMT 89bhp, 93g/km, five-speed manual, 3dr: £16,120
1.4 TDI BMT 89bhp, 93g/km, five-speed manual, 5dr: £16,750

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10 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Front-running pace for Volkswagen RX Sweden at World RX of Hockenheim

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Hockenheim: Kristoffersson

After a strong start last month at the opening round in Portugal, Volkswagen RX Sweden drivers Johan Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund were out of luck at the World RX of Hockenheim, the second round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship. Kristoffersson made the second semi-final and finished seventh overall at the event on 6-8 May, while Marklund was 15th.

Best results
Kristoffersson again showed the potential of the 600bhp Polo RX, the Swedish driver achieving the best results in the qualifying races, resulting in pole position in the second semi-final. The Volkswagen RX Sweden driver was second at the end of the first day of action at the iconic Formula 1 circuit. He also pulled off a killer move in the second round of qualifying by turning a spin into a leading move, soaring past other cars into the lead.

In that second semi-final, Kristoffersson’s Bauhaus-livered Polo got struck by championship leader Petter Solberg, though, which resulted in tyre and bodywork damage. However, the young Swede was still keen to put on a show for the assembled spectators at the 1.24km-long German track – which was also host to a round of the DTM the same weekend – and managed to retain the lead until the end of the fifth lap. He missed out on making the final by just one place, finishing fourth.

Poor grid position
Anton Marklund meanwhile was hampered by a poor grid position in Q1 and traffic in the majority of his races. Additionally, an incident with another car in Q1 made Marklund’s task even harder and he was forced to run in early qualifying races throughout the weekend, when the track was at its slowest. He was unable to fufill his potential and missed out on a place in the semi-finals.

EKS’ Mattias Ekström in his Audi S1 was the victor at the popular German circuit. In the overall drivers’ points table, Kristoffersson is now fourth with 39 points, while Marklund is 14th with nine points.Volkswagen RX Sweden remain second with 48 points in the team standings. The next round of the series – the World RX of Belgium – takes place on 13-15 May at Mettet in Belgium.


1 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 48
2 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 48
3 Toomas Heikkinen, Audi S1: 45
4 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 39
5 Robin Larsson, Audi A1: 34


1 EKS: 93
2 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 48
3 Hoonigan Racing Division: 40
4 Team Peugeot Hansen: 39
5 Ford Olsbergs MSE: 26

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com]

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09 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

No change: Polo is the UK’s sixth best-selling car during April 2016

2014 Volkswagen Polo (UK)

As last month, the Volkswagen Polo is once again the sixth best-selling car in the UK according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT). A total of 4065 new Polos were registered in April 2016, while 19,225 examples of the small Volkswagen have been sold so far this year.

The Polo’s larger Golf sibling was second in the overall tally for April, behind the Ford Fiesta, seemingly un-knockable from its top spot. The Vauxhall Corsa meanwhile sits one place behind the Polo in seventh. Last month’s new car registration figures saw a 2.0 per cent rise to 189,505 cars – the largest April total since 2003, when 194,312 new vehicles found homes.

The latest figures show that Volkswagen was the second biggest brand in the UK during April, with registrations totalling 16,877, and a market share of 8.91 per cent. Both the private and fleet markets reported strong sales. ‘The good results over recent months reflect the high level of confidence within our UK retailer network,’ said Alex Smith, Director of Volkswagen UK.

The UK’s top 10 best-selling passenger cars during April 2016 and the year so far (sales figure and position in brackets) are as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 7913 (44,240, 1st)
2 Volkswagen Golf: 5645 (25,073, 4th)
3 Ford Focus: 5562 (26,218, 3rd)
4 Nissan Qashqai: 4460 (23,140, 5th)
5 Vauxhall Astra: 4132 (18,896, 7th)
6 Volkswagen Polo: 4063 (19,225, 6th)

7 Vauxhall Corsa: 4060 (28,639, 2nd)
8 Mercedes-Benz C Class: 3604 (14,391, 10th)
9 Kia Sportage: 3167
10 Audi A3: 3150 (16,196, 8th)

(The 2016 top 10 best-selling car absent from last month’s sales figures is the ninth-placed Vauxhall Mokka with 15,146 cars sold.)

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28 April 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Polo R WRCs on the podium: Ogier and Mikkelsen score at Rally Argentina

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Argentina: Ogier/Ingrassia

After an eventful three days, Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sébastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen stood on the second and third steps respectively of the 36th Rally Argentina podium. Hyundai Motorsport’s Hayden Paddon emerged victorious after an incident-packed fourth round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), which ran around the gravel tracks surrounding Córdoba from 21-24 April.

Second-fastest time
After a six-week break, the Volkswagen team were all ready for the 364.68km Argentine event and, along with Hyundai, set the pace on Shakedown. Recording the second and third fastest times, the Hannover-based outfit Jari-Matti Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila were in the leading Polo R WRC, with Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia third. Norwegians Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger were fifth.

Going into the action proper on the first special stage – a 1.5-km long spectator-lined spectacle in the centre of Córdoba – Volkswagen’s Ogier was keen to clinch victory as the South American round is the only one on the current WRC calendar the Frenchman is yet to win. It started well, with the Gap-born driver clocking the fastest time along with Hyundai’s Dani Sordo. Latvala finished twelfth, while Mikkelsen was just one place below his Finnish team-mate.

The first full day of action delivered action aplenty. Latvala and Anttila stormed ahead after 152 kilometres of stages to take the lead, leaving Ogier and Ingrassia trailing over seven seconds behind. Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon and John Kennard were an impressive third in the i20 WRC, one place ahead of Mikkelsen and Jæger.

Spectacular crash
Still on a high after their victory at Rally Mexico last month, Latvia and Anttila were on a charge. Sadly, it wasn’t to last. On stage 14 of day two, the Finns spectacularly crashed out after hitting a rock at the side of the road. The number ‘2’ Polo R WRC rolled several times, and the damage to the car was so severe, the pair were forced to retire. The Finns’ exit was great shame, as Latvala had finally seemed to have broken his 2016 start-of-season run of bad luck.

Almost unbelievably, Latvala’s departure handed the rally lead to young Paddon, who was 29.8 seconds ahead of world champion Ogier. Going into the last four special stages and 55.28 kilometres of the final day, it was a David and Goliath battle to play for. Mikkelsen and Jæger had kept up the pace, too, and finished the day 14.5 seconds behind Ogier and Ingrassia.

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