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25 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

’40 Years Polo’ exhibition opens at AutoMuseum Volkswagen

The 'VW 80' is an eco-Polo prototype. A Derby Cabrio can also been at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen exhibition

We’d heard earlier in the year that a special exhibition celebrating 40 years of the Polo was to open in the famed AutoMuseum Volkswagen, and on 23 July a small gathering of enthusiasts were in Wolfsburg to mark the start of the jubilee display.

21 special Polos
The ’40 Years Polo’ exhibition runs until 4 October at the former Odermark factory Dieselstrasse site in Volkswagen’s home city. Twenty-one special Polos are on show. The display largely focuses on the early Mk 1 and Mk 2 cars, but later models can be seen among the museum’s regular exhibits.

As well as production cars, unique prototypes can be seen, too. As well as the well-known 1983 rear-engined rear-wheel drive Polo Sprint built to evaluate handling characteristics and the 1985 G40 endurance record-setting car, one very special Mk 1 Polo features, awaken from its slumbers from the annals of Volkswagen’s heritage collection.

Eco-Polo prototype
The ‘VW 80’ eco-Polo prototype is fitted with a supercharged three-cylinder diesel engine, much the same technology as in the later Öko-Polo (Eco-Polo) from 1987, which is also on display. The VW 80 Polo dates from 1980 and looks odd with its faired-in front grille section, half rear wheel arch covers and aerodynamic body kit.

Other highlights include a Mk 2 Polo designed by Rainer Buchmann. On sale in limited numbers during 1986, the BB Polo Paris features a digital dash, uprated sound system, alcantara Recaro seats and very unique square-edged body kit.

Motorcycle and sidecar
The first Mk 2 Polo GT is also on show, as well as the VW Motorsport-created wide-arch Polo G40. One of the least known Polo exhibits is the motorcycle and sidecar, which was built by Volkswagen employees.

Our friends at the VW Polo IG Germany e.V. have helped bring the special Polos together, so the exhibition is one of the most diverse collection of early models. A special brochure is also available for €5 which describes all the exhibits in fascinating detail.

We’re heading over to Wolfsburg for the day in early September, so will report back in greater detail. We’d really encourage a visit anyway, as it’s a fascinating place full of unique production cars and prototypes and really is a must-visit place for Volkswagen fans. Head over to the AutoMuseum Volkswagen website to find out more.

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25 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

No hiccups or Hinkelsteins: Volkswagen conquers Rally Germany with 1-2-3 result

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC: Rally Germany: Ogier/ingrassia

It’s taken three attempts, but Volkswagen Motorsport has finally conquered its home event of Rally Germany, with double World Rally Championship (WRC) winner Sébastien Ogier emerging victorious at the event set around the vineyards of the Trier region. The win means Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia could take a third drivers’ crown as soon as Rally Australia next month.

Dream homecoming
In a dream homecoming in front of 225,000 enthusiastic spectators, the Polo R WRC was also on the runners up steps of the podium. Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen finished the event second and third respectively and created a podium lock-out and clean sweep in all senses of the words.

After disappointment in 2013 and 2014, the outfit from Wolfsburg was set on victory on home soil and the first all-asphalt rally of the year. It dominated from the outset with Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila recording the fastest average speed of 115.84km/h. Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Fløene were second and Ogier and Ingrassia were fourth.

Masterclass of driving skill
Latvala and Anttila pushed Ogier and Ingrassia hard and were always within touching distance of their leading team-mates. That was until Ogier pulled out all the stops and put on a masterclass of driving skill on the Hinkelstein-laden ‘Panzerplatte’ stage on the Baumholder military training ground. He and Ingrassia showed their world-class credentials and blasted ahead of the competition.

After Latvala and Anttila’s emotional win at Rally Finland, the Finns at least collected the top three bonus points on the Power Stage. Citröen’s Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle were second, followed by Hyundai’s Dani Sordo and Marc Martí.

Ogier enjoyed an emotional victory: ‘I am absolutely delighted with this win! The fact that Julien and I are finally able to present our fantastic team with the long-awaited home win makes both of us extremely proud. Now we have finally done it, with a one-two-three. An incredibly emotional moment!

‘Everyone in the team does so much to ensure that we can challenge for victories. This win at the Rally Germany is our way of saying thank you – and it goes without saying that this success would not have been possible without that great Volkswagen team spirit.’

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22 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Polo-based Vento is the 100,000th car shipped to Mexico by Volkswagen India

Volkswagen Vento is 100,000th car exported to Mexico by Volkswagen India

Volkswagen’s Indian factory in Chakan shipped the 100,000th car built for the Mexican export market on 20 August. Taking less than to years to reach the production milestone, the fifth-generation Polo-based Vento (Polo saloon) landmark model set sail for Mexico on a seven-week journey from Mumbai.

‘High demand’
The red 1.6-litre petrol model was flagged off by a number of Volkswagen India representatives. Carsten Goransch, Executive Director – Logistics, Volkswagen India Private Limited said: ‘The highest quality is in the DNA of Volkswagen around the world. We have been building world class cars in Pune which have resulted in high demand for our products in the global market. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved.’

The Vento’s Mexican success story started just two years ago. It replaced the Jetta Classico in the Mexican market and became a popular model with buyers due to its elegant styling, high build quality, safety and comfort levels, as well as its spacious interior.

The notchback Polo 6R-based model is offered in ‘Vento’, ‘Startline’, Style’, ‘Active’ and ‘Highline’ trims, with both petrol and diesel engines. The fifth-generation Polo hatchback is also available for the Mexican market as a singular ‘Polo’ model.

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19 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Manitou Group SA rally team second
at Imperial Toyota Tshwane Motor Rally

Co-driver of the Manitou Group SA rally team Polo S1600, Henry Kohne, recounts how the team finished second in the S1600 class at the 2015 Imperial Toyota Tshwane Motor Rally, the sixth round of the 2015 South African National Rally Championship

2015 Volkswagen Polo S1600,  Imperial Toyota Tshwane Motor Rally: Franken/Kohne

The 2015 Imperial Toyota Tshwane Motor Rally took place on the weekend of 14-15 August 2015. The event kicked off at Fort Klapperkop in Tshwane on Friday and stretched out to the Cullinan area for a total of 10 gravel stages on Friday and Saturday.

Character-building weekend
It was a character-building weekend for the team. A puncture on day one and an electrical issue causing a misfire on day two meant the team struggled to keep up with the pace over the course of the weekend.

The competition was fierce with only seconds separating the stage times of the top five. The Manitou Group SA rally team was in fifth position at the end of day one but managed to fight its way back to second position in class S1600 at the end of day two.

‘Home event’
‘We are fortunate with our result, it was a frustrating weekend at times but when all went well we posted good stage times. We are now looking forward to the last two events of the series. Cape Town is my home event, but we have a lot of hard work to put in if we want to take the fight for the championship,’ said Polo S1600 driver Paulus Franken.

Paulus Franken and Henry Kohne in the Manitou Group supported Volkswagen Polo R2 are now 2.5 points behind Championship leader, Guy Botteril in the S1600 class with two rounds remaining in the 2015 South African National Rally Championship.

The next event is round seven, the Toyota Cape Dealer Rally, which takes place from 18-19 September. The Manitou Group SA rally team is supported by Manitou Group, Supa Quick Birchleigh, Volkswagen Motorsport and SASOL Racing.

[Image: Dave Ledbitter/rallyworld.net]

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14 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Flying Finn: Latvala takes second consecutive Rally Finland win

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Finland: Latvala/Anttila

After a disappointing 2015 World Rally Championship season so far, Volkswagen Motorsport’s Finnish drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila took the win at their home event, Rally Finland, which was staged from 30 July to 2 August.

In front of thousands of jubilant spectators, the pair finished the event at an average speed of 125.44km/h and claimed best times on half of the 20 Special Stages. Their overall lead over second-placed team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia was 13.7 seconds.

‘Kings of Speed’
Latvala and Anttila’s victory in the canopy-lined forests of Finland makes it their third. The new-found ‘Kings of Speed’, the pair have now scored fastest times on both gravel and tarmac events. The Finns moved into the lead at Rally Finland during the legendary ‘Ouninpohja’ stage and clocked Latvala’s 400th stage win of his career, as well as the fastest speed of 132.18 km/h.

Taking second place in the final ‘Myhinpää’ power stage, Latvala and Anttila scored another two points towards their Drivers’ Championship standings. Ogier and Ingrassia were victorious, however, and took the full three points. It was the French duo’s 23rd power stage success and the 26th for Volkswagen Motorsport.

Celebratory mood
‘I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am,’ said a Latvala, in celebratory mood. ‘This win means all the more to me after all the ups and downs this season. My motivation coming into this rally and my desire to win were immense.

‘After all the ups and downs I’ve been through this season, this victory means a huge amount. I would like to thank the entire team for its great work. They have always believed in me, even in times when things have not run so smoothly,’ he continued.

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12 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Seventh heaven for Polo in July 2015 UK best-selling car sales chart

2015 Volkswagen Polo BlueGT (UK)

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released its monthly UK sales figures and once again the Volkswagen Polo sits in the top 10 best-selling car chart. One place higher than in June at number seven, Volkswagen UK sold 3620 Polos in July. The Ford Fiesta was the most popular new model once again, with a total of 8504 examples finding homes.

A total of 178,420 cars were registered in July, a rise of 3.2 per cent on the same month in 2014. Year-to-date sales in 2015 are up 6.5 per cent to 1,555,309 units: July 2015 was the 41st consecutive month of growth with the biggest volume rises seen in the supermini an SUV markets. The UK’s top 10 best-selling passenger cars during July 2015 and the year so far (sales figure and position in brackets) are as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 8504 (80,494, 1st)
2 Ford Focus: 7044 (52,122, 3rd)
3 Vauxhall Corsa: 4886 (55,011, 2nd)

4 Volkswagen Golf: 4880 (43,141, 4th)
5 Nissan Qashqai: 3789 (38,290, 5th)
6 Audi A3: 3731 (29,496, 8th)
7 Volkswagen Polo: 3620 (32,600, 7th)
8 Fiat 500: 3191 (25,815, 10th)
9 Vauxhall Astra: 3187 (33,153, 6th)
10 Mercedes-Benz C Class: 2868 (27,544, 9th)

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