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Find the latest Polo news from around the world, past-model flashbacks, road tests, spotlights on selected models, as well as views from contributors here. If there is a Polo story that you would like to share or if you would just like to get in contact, email us at info@polodriver.com

22 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Bumped in Barcelona: Kristoffersson finishes sixth at World RX of Spain

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Spain: Kristoffersson

Following two consecutive podium finishes (including the win at World RX of France), Volkswagen RX Sweden was hoping for much the same at the ninth round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Spain, held at the 1.13km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 17-18 September. Sadly for the Swedish outfit, it wasn’t to be.

Demoted to sixth place
Currently third in the 2016 drivers’ standings, Johan Kristoffersson initially finished third in Barcelona, but was then demoted to sixth place for pushing. The Swedish driver and his 600bhp Polo RX headed both the third and fourth qualifying heats and battled their way through to the final. Overall winner of the World RX of Spain was Mattias Ekström of EKS.

Ahead of the Spanish races, Kristoffersson was confident: ‘The team has been working so hard this year and it was great to win in France. We improved the car a lot from day one to day two there and I was able to really push on the Sunday. Last year we had a bit of turnaround in France, then in Barcelona the car was great.

‘That was also the time I started working with my engineer, Laurent. I hope for more of the same this year. It’s great to go to Barcelona with a victory in the bag, and I can’t wait to drive in front of the great fans there. I really liked the track last year, the facilities are really good too and we had a good result. I’m really looking forward to it,’ he continued.

Confident of a strong result
Anton Marklund meanwhile headed to Spain targeting his first podium finish of the season. The young Swedish Polo pilot suffered ill health before the event and was confident of scoring a strong result. ‘I have already forgotten about the challenging weekend in France two weeks ago.

‘We are now heading to Barcelona very well prepared, and with Johan’s win fresh in our memories. We know we have a good package and I’m going there with great confidence in what the car can do,’ said Marklund before the event. Low placings in the qualifying heats suggested that his health hadn’t quite recovered enough.

The next round of the championship is the World RX of Latvia, held in Riga on 1-2 October.



1 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 204
2 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 194
3 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 178
4 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 170
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 154



1 EKS: 318
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 297
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 240
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 224
5 World RX Team Austria: 159

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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16 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Remus stainless steel exhaust upgrade for 2014- Polo GTI 1.8 TSI

Volkswagen Polo GTI 1.8 TSI Remus performance exhaust system upgrade

Hot on the tyre tracks of Cobra Sport’s exhaust upgrade for the 2014- (current) Polo GTI 1.8 TSi comes a similar system from Remus. Three 60mm stainless steel sports exhaust kits are available as the core product, and all are 5mm larger than the Polo GTI’s standard system. One offering has a resonator, one does without, while the third boasts fully-integrated electronic valves, complete with remote control to operate the valve control unit.

Quiet or aggressive-sounding
The latter system allows for the exhaust volume to be raised or lowered just by the simple push of a button, meaning that enthusiastic owners can have a quiet car day-to-day, or a more aggressive-sounding one when the need and time arises. Very clever, and something which has been solely realised by Remus, as the standard car does without such a trick system.

A pair of chromed and angled 90mm tailpipes mark the start of the under-bumper options. Five more 84mm offerings bolster the range, and available in chrome, ‘Street Race’, ‘Carbon Race’, ‘Street Race Black Chrome’, and titanium finishes, there really should be something for everyone. As a bonus, all of the available options should nestle under the hot Polo’s rear bumper easily.

High standard of quality
Remus tests all its systems on its own development cars and can therefore offer a very high standard of quality as well as increases in performance throughout the rev range. The company also states that while the increased volume is more aggressive than the car’s OEM system, it never becomes intrusive. Prices start at £91.20 including VAT for the front ‘race tube’ which replaces the front silencer, and rise to £1,008.00 including VAT for one system with the fully integrated electronic valves.

Visit Remus’ website at remusuk.com for more information on, and the fitment details and prices for, the Polo GTI 1.8 TSI cat-back sports exhaust system.

[Source: vwtuningmag.com]

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15 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Hedström to pilot rallycross Polo at Barcelona and Latvia Euro RX rounds

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX: Peter Hedström

There will be another Polo RX on the grid at the start of the Euro RX of Barcelona this weekend (16-18 September), the seventh round of the 2016 FIA European Rallycross Championship. Former Swedish rallycross champion Peter Hedström will jump into an ex-Marklund Motorsport Polo RX Supercar at the Spanish event. The near-600bhp Supercar will appear again in the Latvian round of the programme (30 September to 2 October).

‘Go for a win in Barcelona’
Previously a Ford Fiesta Supercar driver, Hedström swapped to the Polo for the first time at a recent round of the RallyX Nordic Championship, and promptly won. ‘I will go for a win in Barcelona,’ said Hedström. ‘The Polo is very good – I like it very much. There’s nothing wrong with the Fiesta but the Polo suits my driving style better. I loved the Skoda Fabia I raced before and the Polo is not a big difference to that,’ he continued.

Divulging that the Polo is better-suited to his all-out style, Hedström commented: ‘The engine is better in the Polo than the Fabia, but the driving style is very similar. The Ford is good, too but I am an action driver, I like to go flat out and the Polo works for me. Last year Barcelona was only my second race with the Fiesta and it was a big difference from the Skoda. It took some time to go as fast as I could, but I was in the final.’

Expanded World RX programme
Hedström is looking at an expanded programme of World RX events for the 2017 season. ‘The plan is that we will have two cars exactly the same next year. I want to drive in seven World Championship races, or maybe the European Championship and in two or three World Championship events. But the plan is to drive more World Championship races in 2017.’

Johan Kristofferson and Anton Marklund currently run Polo RXs in the World Rallycross Championship, while Tord Linnerud drives one of the small VWs in the same European series as Hedström. Ernestas Staponkus meanwhile, has a car in the Super 1600 championship.

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07 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Bestseller boost: Polo Vivo production to be expanded with Kenyan factory

Polo Vivo production to be expanded into Kenya

The most prolific bestseller in South Africa since its launch in 2010, the Polo Vivo is set to become even more popular with the announcement that production of the entry-level model will take place in Kenya from late 2016. An agreement with a local partner has been signed by Volkswagen as it looks to further its engagement in the Sub-Sahara region. A training centre will also be established with the support of the German government.

New production agreement
The new production agreement was signed today by the Kenyan Government and Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen South Africa in Nairobi. President of Kenya H E Uhuru Kenyatta was also in attendance. Volkswagen sees the move as an ‘important step towards engaging further in new emerging markets’. There is a historian link, too, as VW assembled the Beetle in Kenya in the 1960s.

The new production facility will be in the city of Thikia near Nairobi. Importer DT Dobie has been chosen as the partner to jointly realise the Kenyan venture, and the new Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) factory will be Volkswagen’s third facility in South Africa after the main Uitenhage plant and a local facility in Nigeria. Up to 5,000 Polo Vivos are expected to be manufactured in Kenya per year from 2017.

‘Successful Polo Vivo’
‘We are taking the successful Polo Vivo from South Africa to Kenya to leverage the enormous growth potential of the African automobile market and participate in its positive development. This compact model is the best-selling car in the Sub-Saharan region – so it is the ideal entry model for the promising Kenyan market,’ said Schaefer. ‘With this move, we are strengthening the brand’s overall position in Africa and taking an important step towards expanding our commitment in the region,’ he continued.

President Kenyatta commented: ‘The investment by the Volkswagen Group in Kenya is a key milestone in my administration’s determined push to grow the manufacturing base and industrialised the nation.’

A local training centre to qualify production workers and provide further training will also be established and will focus on the needs of the Volkswagen production team. Later, it is thought that the centre will provide basic training for young people in the region to learn general industrial skills, increasing employment opportunities. One of Africa’s emerging markets, Kenya plays a prominent role among East African nations and with a GDP of US$63 billion.

South African top-seller crown
In related news, the Polo Vivo kept its South African top-seller crown for August 2016, with 2702 units sold. The model has topped the charts for the whole of 2016 so far, and for many years previously since it replaced the Citi Golf in 2010. Based on the revised ‘9N3’ Polo first introduced in Europe during 2006, the Polo Vivo is available as a three or five-door hatchback and four-door booted saloon with 74bhp/84bhp 1.4-litre and 103bhp 1.6-litre petrol engines.

For more details on the Polo Vivo, visit the Volkswagen South Africa website.

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06 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson scores emphatic first team victory at World RX of France

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of France: Kristoffersson

After months without success, Johan Kristoffersson and Volkswagen RX Sweden have scored their first win in the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, emerging victorious at the 2-4 September World RX of France. Round eight of the series took place at the 1.08km-long track at Lohéac in Brittany, and the young Swede scored a lights-to-flag win behind the wheel of his 600bhp Polo RX Supercar.

Kristoffersson dominated the second day of competition at the signature French RX event, and set the fastest time in both the Q3 and Q4 qualifying sessions in difficult weather conditions. His Polo RX revelled in the changing climate and Kristoffersson lead both the semi-final and final from start to finish to score an empathic first victory of the season.

‘It feels fantastic’
Kristoffersson is the fifth different driver to win a World RX event this year, and the 27 year-old was pleased that his time had finally come. ‘It feels fantastic,’ grinned the four-wheel drive Polo driver who also won the Monster Energy Super Charge Award after beating the other finalists to the first corner of the final.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, though: ‘We couldn’t get it right yesterday – I was P10 after Q2 and the car didn’t feel right. My team worked really hard on the car overnight and in the rain this morning, the car felt amazing,’ Kristoffersson commented.

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