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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

23 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Cobra Sport announces performance exhaust system for 2014- Polo GTI 1.8 TSI

Polo GTI 1.8 TSI Cobra Sport performance exhaust system upgrade

Cobra Sport has announced a series of new performance exhaust upgrades for the current Polo GTI 1.8 TSI, which was first introduced in 2014. Following a similar series of upgrades for the previous 1.4-litre supercharged and turbocharged TSI engine which powered the 2010-2014 Polo GTI, the latest system ‘greatly improve the exhaust pitch and tone and add the sporty edge which was missing from the factory system,’ according to Cobra Sport.

Weight saving of 41 per cent
The resonated 2.5-inch cat-back system weighs only 9.52kg compared to the original’s 16.20kg, an impressive saving of 41 per cent. Cobra Sport claims that the de-­cat and sports cat front pipes have been enlarged to 3-inch bore and offer a weight saving of 0.60kg. The new offerings for the Polo GTI have the usual Cobra Sport best quality refinements, including Grade 304 stainless steel used throughout the system.

The Cobra Sport upgrades fit from the catalytic converter rearwards and replace the middle and rear sections. Owners looking for maximum performance and sound improvements, the company also offers both a 3-inch (76.2mm) high flow sports catalyst and de-cat front section to complete the turbo-back system.

Twin 3-inch and 3.25-inch tailpipes
A choice of twin 3-inch and 3.25-inch tailpipes in a highly polished T304 stainless steel finish is available, while a less obtrusive oval slash cut version can also be optioned. Cobra Sport states that the resonated cat back system offers a subtle 10db aural upgrade over the original (benchmarked in a 4000rpm static test) and that it is designed to ‘provide a purposeful but unobtrusive pitch perfect sound quality, which in no way interferes with day-­to‐day drivability’.

Matt Thomas, Sales Manager at Cobra Sport says: ‘The new Mk 5 Polo has been a big hit with initial owners and journalists who rate the naturally-aspirated 1.8 litre engine as a big improvement over the previous 1.4 TSI. We are very excited to have developed a full range of exhaust systems to offer an upgrade to suit the wide range of buyer requirements.’

The Polo GTI 1.8 TSI Cobra Sport non-resonated cat-back system starts at £427.20, while resonated cat-back upgrades are priced from £506.40. The most expensive upgrade is the turbo-back exhaust system with sports catalyst and resonater which retails at £1,202.54. For full details of the new systems, visit the Cobra Sport website.

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20 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Ouninpohja duel: 318bhp Polo R WRC vs 1000bhp Kamaz 4326 Dakar Rally truck

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC vs Kamaz 4326 on Ouninpohja

Remember the Steven Spielberg-directed film Duel from 1971, where a truck with seemingly no driver hunts down Dennis Weaver? Volkswagen and Red Bull do – in a new promotional video, the 318bhp Polo R WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala gets hunted down through the legendary ‘Ouninpohja’ stage of Rally Finland by Dakar Rally winner Ayrat Mardeev in a Kamaz 4326 truck with 1000bhp.

The pair met when Rally Finland was tearing through the stages in July 2016, and the resulting just-over-one-minute clip is spectacular to say the least. The sight of the 10-tonne rally-prepared truck hurtling up to and jumping over Ouninpohja’s numerous crests is fabulous joy to behold, with Latvala’s four-wheel drive, 1.6-litre turbocharged Polo dancing though the stage to equally bewildering and awesome effect.

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19 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo spotted testing; ‘hybrid’ platform for India

2016 Volkswagen Polo (UK)

Ahead of a possible Geneva motor show reveal next spring, the new 2017 Volkswagen Polo has been spotted out and about in recent weeks. Heavily camouflaged versions of the new supermini have been seen piling on the miles in the most unlikely of places – the US. The Polo has never been sold Stateside (unlike its arch rival of 40 years, the Ford Fiesta), but various test cars have been spotted by Auto Express wearing Arizona licence plates.

Smallest MQB platform
Set to sit on the smallest of Volkswagen’s not-quite-so-new ‘MQB’ platform – which will eventually be shared with Audi, SEAT and Skoda variants – the new Polo will sport a slightly larger wheelbase for enlarged rear leg room, but the length will remain at close to four metres. Going by the spyshots, styling is expected to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

A host of small-capacity petrol engines will be boosted by turbochargers, while a new 1.5-litre diesel unit similar to one in use by Indian versions of the Polo will be drafted into service for the 2017 model. Transmissions are expected to be five and six-speed manuals, as well as the seven-speed DSG semi-automatic.

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI (UK)

Polo GTI, but no GTE
Emissions are expected to be lower thanks to the revised and new efficient engines, but it’s not all economy and parsimony. Excitingly, one camouflaged car in the Auto Express spyshots looks to be a GTI, which signals that the ‘sports’ Polo will still have a place in the new line-up. Expect at least the 189bhp of the current ‘6C’ fifth-generation car, but sadly no hybrid ‘GTE’ version.

New connected technologies will play a major part in the sixth-generation model’s make-up, too. As with the revised variant introduced in 2014, touchscreen infotainment systems should feature throughout the range. And expect that range to broaden significantly with the introduction of the production version of the ‘T-Cross Breeze’ concept unveiled at the 2016 Geneva motor show – Autocar has papped this out testing, too.

‘Hybrid’ ‘PQ25’ chassis
The Polo is now a world car, on sale and doing good business in China, India, Russia, and South America among other places, but ET Bureau and Indian Autos Blog report that the 2017 car for India will be at least part-based on the current model, and not adopt quite so much of the new platform. this is thought to be down to cost-savings after the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions issue.

Slated for a 2018-2019 launch, the next-generation Polo and Vento (Polo saloon) for the Indian market are now expected to sit on the existing Polo’s ‘PQ25’ chassis, as will the new SUV version which is also thought to appear. A ‘hybrid’ mesh of the two old and new platforms is currently expected to work, although final details are still being finalised. New electrical systems are thought to provide the technology upgrades the emerging market Polo will demand.

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16 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Polo 1.2-litre TDI included in
latest Volkswagen EA189 engine recall

Volkswagen 1.2-litre EA189 TDI engine

Volkswagen has received approval from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) for the ‘technical solution’ of models fitted with the 1.2-litre EA189 TDI engine embroiled in the ‘Dieselgate’ issue, first announced in September 2015.

460,000 vehicles recalled
Over 460,000 vehicles which have the three-cylinder engine installed will be recalled, including fifth-generation Polo BlueMotion ‘6R’ models built from 2009-2014. Autocar reports that in the UK, 18,018 Polos are affected. Selected SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Fabia models will also have to be taken back to local retailers to receive the fix.

Just a software update, owners of affected cars will be contacted and instructed to take their vehicle to an authorised retailer have the update applied free of charge. Owners should receive two letters – the first stating that the car is affected, the second instructing to make an appointment for the update. All cars which need the remedial work remain safe to safe drive.

No effect on performance
The KBA has agreed that the fix should have no effect on affected vehicles’ fuel consumption, noise levels or performance, and that the vehicles will fulfil all statutory requirements once they have had the software update applied. Volkswagen has stated that it is ‘continuing to put every effort into implementing the technical solutions and will correct all vehicles affected by the NOx issue’.

The latest Volkswagen EA189 engine ‘modification’ follows the roll-out of the 2.0-litre EA189 TDI fix, which started at the beginning of 2016. Arguably the largest group of engines affected by ‘Dieselgate’ – the cluster of 1.6-litre EA189 TDI units – has yet to be called in for a remedial fix.

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10 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson scores Volkswagen RX Sweden podium at World RX of Canada

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX, World RX of Canada: Kristoffersson

At last! It took a while, but Johan Kristoffersson finally achieved the first FIA World Rallycross Championship podium finish for the newly-formed Volkswagen RX Sweden team at the World RX of Canada. The event at Trois-Rivières in Quebec marked the seventh round of the 2016 series and the mid-way point of the season, and 27 year-old Kristoffersson made it onto the third step of the podium.

‘Really good to be back here’
‘We’ve been so close and finally our hard work has paid off and we are back on the podium – it feels really good to be back here,’ said a jubilant Kristoffersson, who is now just three points off third place in the Drivers’ Championship. ‘Petter Solberg was outstanding in the semi-final and I felt like I couldn’t catch him, but then the rain started and our car works so well in the rain. The first two laps were really good for us and the car worked perfectly,’ he continued.

Kristoffersson’s team-mate Anton Marklund also made the final in Canada, but just missed out on a top five finish, coming home sixth. His Polo RX suffered a brake failure and he collided with ex-World Rally Champion Petter Solberg’s Citroën DS3 RX. Marklund subsequently hit a wall on the first lap of the Supercar final, and damaged a rear tyre. Both he and Solberg were taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks, with both drivers being declared fine.

Three consecutive podiums
The Canadian round of the World Rallycross Championship has been kind to the 600bhp Polo RX Supercar – the small but powerful Volkswagen has achieved three consecutive podiums at the North American event. Marklund finished second at the famous street circuit in 2014, while the Volkswagen RX Sweden car finished second and third at the 2015 event, with Finland’s Toomas Heikkinen and America’s Tanner Foust.

Before the event, Kristoffersson reported that a few changes to the super-Polo had taken place: ‘We have made a few updates that will no doubt help us. Last season we were strong in Canada at the start of the weekend, this year we want to remain focussed throughout the entire event.’

Volkswagen RX Sweden Team Principal Michael Schneider confirmed the car is a match for its competitors: ‘When I look back on the first half of the season, I’m very happy with the performance of the car and both drivers. We have produced a very competitive car for 2016.’

Timmy Hansen won the World RX of Canada for Team Peugeot Hansen. the Swede took an unexpected victory after he was promoted to the final when Russia’s Timur Timerzyanov was black flagged after an incident in the semi-final. The next round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship is the World RX of France, which takes place in Lohéac from 2-4 September.



1 Petter Solberg, Citroën DS3: 161
2 Mattias Ekström, Audi S1: 157
3 Andreas Bakkerud, Ford Focus RS: 132
4 Johan Kristoffersson, Volkswagen Polo: 129
5 Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208: 121



1 EKS: 256
2 Team Peugeot Hansen: 226
3 Volkswagen RX Sweden: 188
4 Hoonigan Racing Division: 167
5 World RX Team Austria: 126

[Images: FIAWorldRallycross.com / Volkswagen RX Sweden]

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