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13 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Polo now plugs in to Volkswagen Connect system as standard

2018 Volkswagen Polo SE + DataPlug

The Volkswagen Connect DataPlug and smartphone app-based connectivity system is now standard on all new Polo and Up models. It allows drivers to access a range of information about their car and journeys, and was launched in the UK during 2017. The system can be retro-fitted free of charge on Volkswagens built after 2007.

Used with the Volkswagen ID personal digital account, the system has already been installed in tens of thousands of cars, and offers many of the benefits of Volkswagen’s high-end Car-Net system. The DataPlug and app are linked together via Bluetooth: the car sends the user’s smartphone a burst of information at the end of each journey. Once connected, the driver can interact with their Volkswagen in seven key areas.

Fuel-efficiency tips
The ‘Trips’ function records information about each journey, including the distance driven. Along with the ‘Fuel Monitor’, it gives an accurate journey cost by comparing fuel consumption with the cost of the fuel in the car. The ‘Driving Style’ option can also save drivers money by way of fuel-efficiency tips.

The ‘My Volkswagen’ area can notify of the vehicle’s fuel level, and the likely date of the car’s next service can also be ascertained. The ‘Service Partner’ function automatically alerts when the service is due, and if set up to do so, will also contact the nominated Volkswagen Retailer, who will then call to arrange a service.

If a dashboard warning light is illuminated, the Volkswagen Connect app notify the local VW Retailer, who can then call the driver of the car to discuss the problem. Helpfully, the app will explain in plain English what the warning light means.

Urgent assistance
If more urgent assistance is needed, the Volkswagen Customer Service Centre or a roadside assistance service can be contacted via the ‘Volkswagen Connect Assistance Call’ function, and the location of the car can also be shared if the driver chooses. Elsewhere, ‘The Parking Space’ section of the app records the exact location of the car when it is parked, as well as the exact duration.

The ‘My Challenges’ feature meanwhile is a game that rewards drivers with points, depending on their driving style. Safe and efficient driving tasks can also be accomplished to win virtual trophies, and Volkswagen Connect users can compare their scores with other VW drivers.

The DataPlug can also be transferred from compatible Volkswagen to Volkswagen, a benefit which is also of use for fleets where drivers may have access to more than one Volkswagen vehicle. Volkswagen states that up to 300,000 Volkswagen Connect DataPlugs will be fitted to compatible vehicles in 2018.

Find out more by visiting the Volkswagen Connect pages which have been added to the ‘owners’ section of volkswagen.co.uk.

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29 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo named as the 2018 World Urban Car

2018 Volkswagen Polo Beats

The Volkswagen Polo has been named as the ‘2018 World Urban Car’ in the 2018 World Car Awards, at a presentation held at the New York International Auto Show. Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design, accepted the sixth-generation Polo’s latest prize.

The Polo was chosen as ‘2018 World Urban Car’ from a shortlist of three – originally eight – which also included the Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Swift. 2018 marks the fifth time Volkswagen has won a World Car gong, in the awards’ 14-year history. The Golf has won twice (2009 and 2013), while the Up and Polo have each won top honours once (2012 and 2010 respectively).

‘One of the most successful compact cars’
‘The whole team at Volkswagen is delighted to have won the 2018 World Urban Car award with the Polo,’ declared Bischoff. ‘With around 17 million units sold, the Polo is one of the most successful compact cars of all time and a pillar of the brand. And the sixth-generation, based on the MQB platform, is even sportier and more grown up than its predecessors.’

The World Urban Car award was introduced in 2017 because it’s an award whose time has come. World Car vice-chairman, Mike Rutherford, commented: ‘Everyday cars in many parts of the world will have to become smaller if road and parking space is to be found for them in increasingly packed towns and cities whose populations are swelling annually.’ Last year’s inaugural World Urban Car winner was the BMW i3 (94Ah).

International jury panel
Vehicles in all World Car award categories are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 82 top-level automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work. Through their respective outlets they collectively reach an audience of many millions worldwide. The international accounting firm KPMG tabulates the jurors’ ballots.

The Volvo XC60 won the overall 2018 World Car of the Year award. For a list of all the winners and for more details about the awards, visit www.wcoty.com.

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20 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

2018 Volkswagen Polo R Supercar rallycross machine revealed

2018 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R

Until now, it’s just been seen testing, but today, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden pulled the covers of the new Polo R Supercar at Autostadt in Wolfsburg. The 570bhp four-wheel drive machine will once again be the chariot of choice for reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson and his team-mate and team boss Petter Solberg.

While the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship Polo looks similar to its victorious 2017 predecessor, it features an optimised aerodynamic package, which should help it stay at the front of the chasing World RX pack. The engine cooling has been redesigned, while a new rear wing creates more downforce than before and is more adjustable in its set-up. Overall, around 20 per cent of the parts of the 2018 car are new.

The silhouette is still that of the fifth-generation Polo which was replaced by the sixth-generation car last summer, but elements such as the light decals are obviously inspired by the newer model, and appear to be very similar to that car. Even though it looks very little changed to its predecessor, Volkswagen Motorsport is at pains to state that the 2018 Polo R Supercar is markedly different to its GTI-branded ancestor under the bonnet.

And of course, that’s another point. The 2017 car wore GTI badges to correlate with the Polo GTI road car, even though they weren’t actually related and the rallycross machine is, in effect, a silhouette racer. Widely seen as a good move, as the Polo R WRC was so far removed from the road-going Polo, it was debatable whether the motorsport ‘halo’ effect of selling more cars if said cars are seen in high-level action actually worked. There has never been a high-performance Polo R, so the new ‘strategic partnership’ with Volkswagen R GmbH seems a little odd. However, Volkswagen Motorsport is still on board with PSRX Volkswagen Sweden as before.

Perfect pairing
Also remaining are 2017 World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson and rally and rallycross star and PSRX team owner Petter Solberg. They proved an almost perfect pairing in the 2017 season, and are hoping repeat achievements in 2018. Kristoffersson, now starts with the world champion’s number 1 on his car: ‘The initial tests with the new Polo R Supercar have been very good.

‘The development department of Volkswagen Motorsport has done a magnificent job. As world champion, I am obviously particularly under pressure – but I don’t mind that. On the contrary, I am looking forward to some spectacular and hopefully exciting battles with the opposition,’ the young Swede declared.

He continued: ‘It feels much too long since the final World RX round of last year in South Africa last November. I have done lots of training – and competed in the World Rally Championship – but nothing compares with that feeling of being back in a Volkswagen Polo R Supercar. When we started testing again this year, I was sitting in the car smiling to myself. I’m so excited to be back and so excited to start the defence of my title from 2017.’

‘So much success’
Solberg said: ‘Last year the agreement for PSRX to partner with Volkswagen Sweden and Volkswagen Motorsport came very late – but we made so much success. Now it’s the job of us all to build on this success. It’s not going to be easy.

‘On a personal level, I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel. Over the winter season, I have spent quite a lot of time behind a desk and I definitely prefer my office with four wheels and a roll cage! Seriously, I am a competitor and I want to start competing again.’

‘There is no question, the new season promises to be very exciting. The opposition will do everything in their power to take our title,’ said Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. ‘Our goal is obviously to provide Johan and Petter with a good car, which will allow them to challenge for the world title again. I am confident that we will achieve this, and that the new partnership with Volkswagen R will give us even more power.’

‘Inspiration and passion’
Jost Capito, managing director of Volkswagen R GmbH (and a vital ingredient in the 2013-2016 Polo R WRC’s success), is looking forward to the partnership in the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship: ‘Volkswagen R has always drawn inspiration and passion from motor racing. We will now actively build on these qualities in close cooperation with our colleagues at Volkswagen Motorsport and the PSRX team. The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be really exciting and we are looking forward to working with our partners.’

The 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship gets underway on 14-15 April in Barcelona and will travel three continents over 12 rounds, ending up in Cape Town on 24-25 November. 2018 highlights include a round at the new Silverstone rallycross circuit, and an outing in Austin, Texas, will be the first time the series has visited the US.

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06 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

South African star: Volkswagen Polo rides high in registration charts

2018 Volkswagen Polo (South Africa)

The Volkswagen Polo was the most popular car in South Africa during February 2018, according to figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). The launch of the brand new sixth-generation Polo helped bolster registrations to 2,847 units.

A total of 6,247 outgoing and new Polos were also exported from Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory. The traditional South African best-seller, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo – based on the fourth-generation European Polo – was replaced by a new version last month, too, so registrations were down to 2,044 units. But, with the new-generation Vivo being a pared-down version of the outgoing fifth-generation model, you can expect those totals to rise once more.

Staying in South Africa, the latest Polo has claimed Car magazine’s ‘Top 12 Best Buys 2018 – Small Hatchback’ award, with the Polo Vivo and Mazda 2 as runners-up. Other contenders included the Kia Rio, Renault Clio, and Suzuki Baleno. Volkswagen South Africa also scooped the ‘Top 12 Best Buys 2018 – Company of the Year’ award.

The sixth-generation Polo has also collected the Auto Motor und Sport ‘Best Cars 2018 – Sub-Compact Cars’ gong, voted for by readers of the magazine. Over 33 per cent of the category vote went to the small VW. Other Volkswagen winners were the latest versions of the Up and Golf, taking the ‘Best Cars 2018 – Mini Cars’ and ‘Best Cars 2018 – Compact Cars’ category victories respectively. A total of 378 models in eleven categories were on the nominations list to be voted the best cars of 2018.

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13 February 2018 ~ 1 Comment

Five alive! New-generation Volkswagen Polo Vivo launched in South Africa

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo

The Volkswagen Polo Vivo has been phenomenally successful for Volkswagen South Africa, with 193,343 examples sold since its introduction in 2010. Replacing the Mk 1 Golf-based CitiGolf, the first-generation Polo Vivo was itself based on a past VW: the revised Mk 4 Polo first introduced in 2005. Now, after eight years as the best-selling car in South Africa, it’s time for the second-generation Polo Vivo.

Volkswagen South Africa states that the Polo Vivo’s key attributes are ‘ affordability, German build quality, comfort, safety, and space’, and those characteristics are about to be heightened, as the new Polo Vivo is based on the outgoing fifth-generation Polo, first sold in 2009, and only just out of production in Europe. Where the previous Polo Vivo was offered in hatchback and sedan (saloon) body styles, the new car will only be available as a hatchback, at least initially. And only with petrol engines.

Almost identical in appearance to the revised Polo ‘6C’ from 2014, the 2018 Polo Vivo has a slightly different lower front bumper housing and redesigned tail lights, but that’s about it. Six colours borrowed from the new sixth-generation Polo freshen up the Polo Vivo’s looks: Flash Red, Pure White, Limestone Grey Metallic, Reef Blue Metallic, Reflex Silver Metallic, and Deep Black Pearl Effect. The Polo Vivo is 3,972mm long, 1,682mm wide and 1,462mm tall, and has 280 litres of luggage capacity with the rear seats in place.

Polo Vivo Trendline
The new Polo Vivo range is available in four trim levels: Trendline, Comfortline, Highline, and GT. The Trendline is available with a 74bhp / 55kW 1.4-litre engine only, and is equipped with air conditioning, front electric windows, power steering, tinted windows, ‘140G’ four-speaker radio with SD / USB / Bluetooth connectivity, driver and passenger airbags, and ISOFIX child seat mounting points. On the outside, the Polo Vivo Trendline has 14-inch steel wheels and black door handles and mirrors. Options include cruise control, front fog lights, and 15-inch ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels.

Polo Vivo Comfortline
The Polo Vivo Comfortline builds on the specification of the Trendline and adds body-coloured door handles and mirrors, and front fog lights. Inside, there’s a multifunction steering wheel and display computer, ‘City’ cloth trim and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Options include cruise control, leather trim, 15-inch ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels and a ‘340G’ colour touchscreen infotainment system with ‘App-Connect’ functionality. The Polo Vivo Comfortline is available with 1.4-litre 84bhp / 63kW and 1.6-litre 103bhp / 77kW engines driven through five-speed manual and auto Tiptronic gearboxes respectively.

Polo Vivo Highline
Sitting above the Comfortline, the Polo Vivo Highline offers ‘Cable’ seat trim, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, 16-inch ‘Rivazza’ alloy wheels, and a six-speaker ‘340G’ colour touchscreen infotainment system with ‘App-Connect’ functionality. The Polo Vivo Highline is only available with the 103bhp / 77kW engine.

Polo Vivo GT
Just as with the outgoing Polo Vivo, a sporty ‘GT’ model sits atop the new Polo Vivo tree. Building on the Highline, the GT additionally adds 17-inch ‘Mirabeau’ alloy wheels, black exterior side mouldings, rear hatch spoiler, chrome-trimmed exhaust pipe, lowered sports suspension, aluminium pedals, cruise control, front sports seats, and ‘Space’ seat trim. A smattering of ‘GT’ badges on the front, sides and hatch also distinguish the Polo Vivo GT from its siblings. Powered exclusively by a 1.0-litre turbocharged ‘TSI’ engine allied to a six-speed manual gearbox, the Polo Vivo GT has 108bhp / 81kW, and top speed of 121mph / 196km/h.

‘Low cost of ownership’
All Polo Vivos feature ABS, an alarm, and remote central locking, while almost 76 per cent of parts are locally sourced. With the sixth-generation Polo now rolling off Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage production lines, it made sense to put the tooling of the fifth-generation car to good use, and Volkswagen South Africa states that ‘this ensures that parts remain affordable and contribute to the overall low cost of ownership’. The outgoing Polo Vivo enjoyed the best residual value in its market and the cost of ownership over a 3-year cycle makes it one of the most affordable cars to own in the South African market.

Find out more details about the new Volkswagen Polo Vivo and download a PDF brochure for the new Polo Vivo here.

2018 VOLKSWAGEN SOUTH AFRICA NEW POLO VIVO: RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICES

Trendline
1.4 55kW, five-speed manual, 5dr: R179,900

Comfortline
1.4 63kW, five-speed manual, 5dr: R192,000
1.6 77kW, Tiptronic auto, 5dr: R221,900

Highline
1.6 77kW, five-speed manual, 5dr: R214,900

GT
1.0 81kW, six-speed manual, 5dr: R245,000

All prices include VAT and emissions tax. The new Volkswagen South Africa Polo Vivo models come with a 3-year / 120,000km warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15,000km, and a Volkswagen Automotion Maintenance Plan as well as a Volkswagen Automotion Service Plan are available as options.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT

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