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to the online resource for everything Volkswagen Polo.

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

06 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

More powerful 1.0 engines and SEL trim expand new UK Volkswagen Polo range

2017 Volkswagen Polo R-Line

We previously reported that the UK order books for the brand-new sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo opened on 3 October, with a limited range of three trim and two 1.0-litre engine options. Today, Volkswagen UK announced a further two engine choices, in addition to a further, range-topping SEL trim level.

The new options start at £15,060 for the normally-aspirated 1.0-litre 74bhp SE, while the same model in Beats trim is priced at £16,110 ‘on the road’ (OTR). The most powerful 1.0-litre petrol unit with 113bhp is available in SEL trim starting at £18,180 OTR with a six-speed manual gearbox, rising to £19,530 with a seven-speed automatic DSG transmission.

Polo SELs sit at the top of the ‘non-sporting’ new Polo family tree and offer 16-inch ‘Las Minas’ alloy wheels, chrome interior accents and LED lighting, front fog lights with static cornering function, front sports seats, and an eight-inch Discover Navigation colour infotainment system over SE models.

2017 Volkswagen Polo R-Line

Seven-model Polo family
The sixth-generation Polo is available from £13,855 OTR, and the range will eventually expand to feature a seven-model family, including a 197bhp GTI and an enhanced-specification GTI+ trim. Prices and availability for the R-Line, GTI, GTI+ and the 1.6-litre TDI cars have yet to be released.

Entry-level S cars include air conditioning, auto headlights with LED daytime running lights, eight-inch ‘Composition Media’ infotainment system and Front Assist with pedestrian monitoring system. SE cars gain 15-inch ‘Sassari’ alloy wheels, the ‘Car-Net App Connect’ smartphone connectivity system, and a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel.

Similar to its fifth-generation predecessor, the new Polo Beats gets a 300-watt sound system as standard, as well as ‘Beats’ bonnet and roof decals, 16-inch ‘Torsby’ alloy wheels, front fog lights, front and rear carpet mats, a ‘Red Velvet’ dash pad, and 65 per cent-tinted windows from the B-pillar back. Sporty R-Line Polos are fitted with 16-inch ‘Sebring’ alloy wheels, LED rear lights, an R-Line body kit (front and rear bumpers with gloss black rear spoiler), and stainless steel pedals.

GTI models meanwhile boast 17-inch ‘Parker’ alloy wheels (the same design as the latest Golf GTI), red brake calipers, 15mm lower sports suspension, and Volkswagen’s XDS electronic differential. Finally, GTI+ models gain the Active Info Display digital instruments (optional on other new Polos), adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, Light & Sight pack, and keyless entry with start-stop button.

2017 Volkswagen Polo R-Line

Standard-setting trends
The new Polo continues the standard-setting trends of its predecessors. Class firsts include the debut of Volkswagen’s second-generation ‘Active Info Display’ digital instruments, as well as a new level of assistance systems in the small car sector. These include Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, City Emergency Braking, and Pedestrian Monitoring technologies.

All new Polos also have a stop-start system and regenerative braking, while cars with an output of 94bhp or more can be ordered with a six or seven-speed DSG gearbox as an option to the standard five or six-speed manual gearbox. For more details on the all-new Polo, together with brochures and pricing of the versions available – and to use Volkswagen’s online configurator – visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.


1.0 64bhp, 110g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £13,855

1.0 64bhp, 108g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £14,630
1.0 74bhp, 108g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,060
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 101g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,930
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 105g/km*, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: £17,280

1.0 64bhp, 110g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,680
1.0 74bhp, 110g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £16,110
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 103g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £16,980
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 107g/km*, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: £18,330

1.0 TSI 113bhp, 107g/km*, six-speed manual, 5dr: £18,180
1.0 TSI 113bhp, 109g/km*, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: £19,530

*Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are obtained under standardised EU test conditions (Directive 93/116/EEC). This allows a direct comparison between different manufacturer models but may not represent the actual fuel consumption achieved in ‘real world’ driving conditions. More information is available on the Volkswagen website at www.volkswagen.co.uk and at www.dft.gov.uk/vca

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04 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

‘The rally sports car’: 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 rally car officially revealed

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

In somewhat of a surprise reveal (although we should have seen it coming), the new Polo GTI R5 rally car was unveiled tonight in Mallorca, at the official media driving presentation of the new production Polo GTI. The new motorsport version of the sixth-generation Polo has already been out testing and has been designed to compete in the WRC2 class of the FIA World Rally Championship from the second half of 2018.

While the car seen in the official release images is a mock-up (the black-tinted windows were a trick employed at the 2011 Polo R WRC reveal to mask a non-finished interior) Resplendent in Volkswagen’s red, white and grey ‘bar and block’ livery used on to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Golf GTI last year, the GTI R5 looks ready for action, and even though it wears the five-door clothes of the production car (all sixth-generation Polos have five door openings), with its enlarged front bumper and wheel arch extensions, it looks tough in a similar way to the four-time world championship-winning Polo R WRC.

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

1.6 litres, 272bhp, four-wheel drive
Power has been confirmed at 272bhp, and the GTI R5 is four-wheel drive, unlike the road car, which is front-wheel drive only. But, like the road car, the GTI R5 uses a four-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection. However, in the R5, it has a capacity of 1.6 litres – the production GTI has a 2.0-litre unit – to comply with FIA regulations.

Maximum torque is 400Nm / 295lb ft, and the power is put down through a five-speed sequential racing gearbox. A 1,320kg weight means the GTI R5 sprints to 62mph from rest in just 4.1 seconds, a whole 2.6 seconds faster than the production Polo GTI. The steel body is made in Pamplona alongside regular Polos, and is strengthened with a roll cage and a first-class safety package. Development of the new Volkswagen rally challenger was helped by the know-how from the Polo R WRC programme, which resulted in a car which dominated top-flight rallying from 2013-2016.

Work on the Polo GTI R5 started at the beginning of 2017, with initial tests in mid-November on asphalt and gravel tracks at Fontjoncouse, France. Great Britain is next on the GTI R5 testing list, with time scheduled in for later this month. Volkswagen Motorsport Technical Director François-Xavier ‘FX’ Demaison and Project Manager Jan de Jongh are taking the reins for the GTI R5 programme. There’s no doubt the GTI R5 is in experienced hands: Jongh, as race engineer, cared for world champion Sébastien Ogier’s Polo R WRC.

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

‘A magnificent moment’
‘The Polo GTI R5 came through the initial tests without any problems. The feedback from the test drivers was very positive,’ said Demaison. ‘It is obviously beneficial to call upon an experienced team of engineers and mechanics, who helped to develop the Polo that won the world rally championship. And it goes without saying that, as we have in the past, we are also taking advantage of the close and excellent cooperation with the colleagues in the technical development department in Wolfsburg, as well as our Škoda colleagues, who have been offering their customers an R5 car since 2015,’ he continued.

‘Presenting the new VW Polo GTI R5 to the public was a magnificent moment,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. ‘The close relationship to the road-going Polo GTI is unmistakable. In the rally Polo, the GTI family has another spectacular ambassador. Our team and our colleagues at Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg deserve credit for this. Over the coming months, the Polo GTI R5 must prove itself in a series of tough scenarios, in order to ensure that it can build on the success of its predecessor in customers’ hands.’

Homologation and debut in 2018
Homologation of the new Hanover motorsport machine will take place next summer, before the first cars are delivered to customer sports teams. The first time the GTI R5 will turn a wheel in competitive anger is likely to be the autumn. The FIA’s R5 regulations first applied in 2012, and cover rally cars aimed at customer teams, privateers and young drivers. Over 400 cars have since been built by five manufacturers for competition in national and international series all over the world.

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

The new Polo GTI meanwhile, is available for pre-sale ordering in Germany from 5 December 2017, and is priced from 23,875 euros. Powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine with 197bhp, standard sport running gear features on the latest member of the GTI family, and buyers have a choice of optional Sport Select running gear, too. A six-speed DSG gearbox will be standard initially, with a six-speed manual to follow. UK availability is yet to be revealed, but we’re already excited!

And whether the Polo GTI R5 will continue the success of the Polo R WRC we’ve yet to find out. The coming months will answer some initial questions, but with a championship-winning and hugely successful team as well as proven ingredients behind it, we expect it to be a major WRC2 player at least…

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18 October 2017 ~ 0 Comments

First drive: all-new 2017 Volkswagen Polo

With an all-new platform, the sixth-generation Polo marks the biggest change for the model since the switch from the second to third-generation car twenty-three years ago. The largest and most technologically advanced Polo ever, Rich Gooding finds that the car’s traditional strengths haven’t been forgotten

2017 Volkswagen Polo

Over 14 million Polos have been sold over the past 42 years, so the sixth-generation model is big news for Volkswagen. The second biggest-selling VW in the UK, the fifth-generation car has remained popular throughout its eight-year life with a staggering 4.2 million examples sold. The new model has a very tough act to follow, but with a state-of-the-art chassis, a raft of technical changes, and armed with a vibrant and contemporary colour palette, the latest version of VW’s small car has been equipped with some of the best tools for the job.

Longest and largest Polo yet
First things first. The latest SEAT Ibiza may have debuted it, but the sixth-generation Polo finally gets the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Transverse Matrix (‘MQB’) platform in its smallest ‘A0’ size. That means an increase in wheelbase by 94mm (now 2,564mm), while at just over four metres, the newest Polo is the longest and largest yet.

The new Polo has a very tough act to follow, but with a state-of-the-art chassis, a raft of technical changes, and armed with a vibrant and contemporary colour palette, the latest small Volkswagen has been equipped with the best tools for the job

Width is up by 69mm to 1,751mm, while wider 1,525m front and 1,505mm rear tracks give the new car a four-square stance. Arguably the most impressive figure is the increase in luggage space: now 351 litres, an amazing 25 per cent (70 litres) larger than before, and only 29 litres down on big brother Golf. Indeed, much has been made of the fact that the latest Polo is a big as the fourth-generation version of VW’s biggest-selling model.

The MQB platform brings many benefits – not least the technology, which we’ll come on to later – including an improved silhouette and a more dynamic look. In our eyes, there was little wrong with the neat looks of the outgoing car, and although the new model follows the well-trodden ‘evolution not revolution’ path, it does manage to look both refreshed and rejuvenated, as well as more youthful, which reflects Volkswagen’s new focus on style and technology to lure in younger buyers.

2017 Volkswagen Polo

Confident stance
We were fans of the broad ‘shoulders’ of the fifth-generation Polo, and on the new car they are even more defined. That’s thanks in part to Volkswagen’s new ‘Tornado’ line which starts on the front wing and extends the whole length of the car, finishing at the new tail lights. In profile, the new Polo’s overall look is similar to what went before, but shorter overhangs give the car a confident and more dynamic stance. It’s up front where perhaps the biggest changes occur.

The bonnet is more curved than on the fifth-generation Polo, and the four creases extend down to the bonnet ‘brow’, a body-coloured ‘extension’ which sits in-between the headlights spanning the front grille. We’re not quite sold on this feature yet, but like the way the chrome strip (red on the GTI) extends into the headlights. When optioned, this becomes the LED headlamp, also doubling as the turn signal – very clever and a high-class, ‘big car’ touch. At the rear, the tail lights are similar to before in overall shape, but sharper graphics ensure they are more distinctive under the cover of darkness.

Second generation of Active Info Display
Thanks to the MQB underpinnings, there are more ‘big car’ features, too. A whole suite of safety systems, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection and Front Assist monitoring systems. The new Polo also debuts the second generation of Volkswagen’s ‘Active Info Display’ colour digital instrument panel.

The 10.5-inch high-resolution 133dpi/1,280 x 480-pixel display really does look stunning and adds a luxurious touch to what is – despite the well-documented dimension increases – let’s not forget, still a small car. It can be configured in various views to prioritise driving information, navigation or assistance functions. Infotainment system data can also be displayed, and, although it’s not standard kit on lower-rung cars, it’s only a £325-£475 option on selected models. It’s a proper ‘big car’ option and a small car segment first.

2017 Volkswagen Polo Beats

Also impressive is the range of full-colour infotainment touchscreen systems which are arranged in the same horizontal sight line as the instrument panel. This sounds a very minor change, however, by grouping all the displays in a horizontal axis rather than a vertical one, it means the driver needs less time to view the required information.

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28 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 breaks cover in first test

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

The latest Polo rally car has officially broken cover, and has undergone its first testing session in France. The 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 was driven by Volkswagen Motorsport test driver Dieter Depping and Swedish World Rally Champion pilot Pontus Tidemand around a 3.85km asphalt route in Fontjoncouse.

Based on the new sixth-generation Polo, the Polo GTI R5’s brakes, cooling system, engine and tyres were all tested for durability on the dry asphalt surface. Testing then moved to gravel tracks to further push the chassis and suspension. The testing location was familiar to rally Polos, as the venue was where the first Polo R WRC tests took place in 2011. The recipe was honed from then on: Volkswagen Motorsport’s all-conquering car went on to win four consecutive World Rally Championship titles from 2013 to 2016.

‘A special feeling’
Depping was the test driver of that original Polo R WRC, too: ‘It is a special feeling to be back here, where the Polo embarked on its first rally adventure roughly six years ago,’ he said. ‘It is now about achieving the best possible set-up for the new Polo GTI R5. This first test was primarily about getting a lot of kilometres under our belt, in order to give the engineers as much data as possible. I can tell you one thing now: The R5 Polo is also very good, very quick and precise. I immediately felt right at home!” he added.

‘A successful first test is a good sign and great motivation,’ commented a pleased Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. ‘After the many hours and weeks spent working on our latest customer racing project on the computer, in both the design process and the workshop, the Polo GTI R5 can now finally show what it is capable of, and we can gain valuable data for the further development of the car.’

Three-day test
The three-day testing programme marked the start of the punishing development regime for the latest 270bhp four-wheel-drive rally Polo, which will be sold to professional customer teams and drivers to compete in national, global and the WRC2 class of the FIA World Rally Championship from the second half of 2018.

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17 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Sixth-generation, all-new Polo-based Volkswagen Virtus revealed

2017 Volkswagen Virtus (Brazil)

As the Volkswagen Derby celebrates its fortieth birthday, the saloon version of the all-new sixth-generation Polo has been unveiled. Mooted for some time, the Polo-based Volkswagen Virtus has been launched in Brazil and offers, according to VW, ‘the latest in design, innovation, interior space and high performance in the premium sedan segment.’

Arriving at Brazilian retailers in in January 2018, the Virtus is the first model to preview the new design language which will feature on all future Volkswagen sedan cars, and is focused particularly on Latin American markets. Like the all-new Polo, the Virtus is based on the smallest ‘A0’ version of the MQB platform, which means it includes Active Info Display digital instruments, and an eight-inch ‘Discover Media’ infotainment system, alongside other hi-tech features.

Sharing its bodywork with the recently-unveiled all-new Novo Polo, the Virtus draws on VW saloons of the past but adds modern, more sculpted lines. A high rear window line flows into a longer rear deck than we’ve seen on Volkswagen saloons of more recent times, and while it can’t be described as elegant in the way the first-generation Polo-based Derby can, it’s a solid effort and the boot doesn’t appear to be ‘tacked on’. The new Polo’s ‘tornado line’ terminates just above the rear lights, while the bootlid itself incorporates a neat rear spoiler.

521 litres of luggage space
The 4,480mm-long Virtus is 42.5 inches longer than the Novo Polo, with a 2,650mm wheelbase, the same as the current Jetta. That’s also 85mm longer than that of the new Polo, which itself saw a 94mm increase over the fifth-generation car. The height of VW’s new baby sedan is 1,468mm, 4mm more than the new Polo. Width is the same at 1,751mm. Volkswagen says there is room for three adults in the rear seats ‘with comfort’, while the large doors – larger than the Novo Polo – offer better ingress. Boot space is impressive: the new Polo can hold 351 litres, but the Virtus 521-litre trunk improves on this by a sizable 170 litres. That’s 67 litres up on the fifth-generation Polo-based saloon sold in some markets.

Inside, the familiarity of the sixth-generation Polo continues. The Virtus shares the new small Volkswagen’s dashboard and cabin, including the horizontal axis of instruments, and high quality glass displays. Just like the new Polo, there’s also the second generation of the 10.25-inch Active Info Display digital instruments, as well as MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

1.0, 128bhp 200 TSI engine
No exact details on engine specifications have been given, but the Virtus will be available with the same 1.0-litre turbocharged 128bhp ‘200 TSI’ (so-called because of its 200Nm torque output) three-cylinder engine. While the full power output is developed when fuelled with petrol, the three-pot can also run on ethanol, when 115bhp is developed. Torque is unchanged on both versions, while a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission will also be offered, complete with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. The Virtus 200 TSI does the 0 to 62mph dash in 9.9 seconds.

As you’d expect being based on the new Polo, the Virtus is one of the safest cars in its class. The Virtus 200 TSI is fitted with electronic stability control as standard, which also includes a hill hold function, and hydraulic brake assist and XDS+ electronic differential lock systems. In addition, the Virtus will be Brazil’s first car to offer a ‘cognitive manual’ which uses IBM’s Watson system to respond to drivers’ questions, including information which can be found in the car’s manual.

2017 Volkswagen Virtus (Brazil)

‘Stamp of innovation’
‘We are advancing rapidly in our product offensive with the revelation of the Virtus sedan just 60 days after the launch of the Novo Polo,’ said Pablo Di Si, President and CEO of Volkswagen South America and Brazil. ‘It is another step towards gaining a relevant position in the Latin America region. Virtus is already born with the stamp of innovation: it is a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence, to help the owner to better know and enjoy Virtus in everyday use,’ he continued. The Virtus will be made at Volkswagen’s Anchieta factory, 20kms north of Sao Paulo.

The Polo has featured a saloon version in every model generation since the first-generation Polo-based Derby of 1977. Not sold in all global markets, the fifth-generation Polo spawned the Polo Sedan in Russia, South Africa and South America. The same car was re-christened Vento in India, where it was built and exported alongside local-market and export versions of the fifth-generation Polo.

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10 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo stays in UK top ten cars list; free insurance offer on all-new Polo

Volkswagen Polo BlueGT (UK)

Despite a new model waiting in the wings, the Volkswagen Polo is still one the of the UK’s most popular cars. According to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 2,703 fifth-generation Polos were registered in October 2017, the model sitting in eighth place in the UK top 10 passenger car registrations chart. Overall, 43,158 Polos have found new UK homes in 2017 so far.

The SMMT’s October 2017 figures state that the new car market saw a double-digit decline when compared to the same period in 2016. A fall of 12.2 per cent saw a total of 158,192 new cars registered last month, with the year-to-date tally of 2,224,603 cars down 4.6 per cent on last year. Diesel sales have slumped 29.9 per cent. The UK’s top 10 most popular cars during October 2017 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 7,256 (83,070, 1st)

2 Volkswagen Golf: 5,547 (62,565, 2nd)
3 Ford Focus: 4,503 (62,029, 3rd)
4 Nissan Qashqai: 3,923 (57,120, 4th)
5 Mercedes-Benz A Class: 3,390 (37,937, 10th)
6 Kia Sportage: 2,850
7 Audi A3: 2,764
8 Volkswagen Polo: 2,703 (43,158, 6th)
9 BMW 4 Series: 2,558
10 Ford Kuga: 2,493

(The UK’s 2017 year-to-date top 10 most popular cars absent from October’s registration figures were the fifth-placed Vauxhall Corsa, the seventh-placed Vauxhall Astra, the eighth-placed Mercedes-Benz C Class and the ninth-placed Mini with 43,315, 43,116, 41,281, and 38,964 registrations recorded respectively.)

Free insurance offer on new Polo
With the sixth-generation Polo already on sale in the UK from £13,855 (RRP OTR), Volkswagen has announced a free insurance offer on the new model, the first deliveries of which should arrive in January 2018. One year’s free comprehensive cover applies to qualifying customers aged between 18 and 80*, and customers can also receive a deposit contribution of £500 when they buy a new Polo with a Volkswagen Financial Services’ Solutions Personal Contract Plan** at 5.9 per cent APR representative.

2017 Volkswagen Polo Highline

The new Polo has also been added to the list of models included in Volkswagen’s Scrappage Upgrade scheme. Owners of diesel vehicles registered before 2010 that comply with pre-Euro 5*** emissions legislation will qualify for the scrappage upgrade. The vehicles can be traded-in to benefit from incentives ranging from £1,800 to £6,000 against the new Polo and other VWs and have been owned by the customer for at least six months. Orders must also be placed by 31 December 2017.

For more details on the Volkswagen Scrappage Upgrade scheme, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk/scrappage.

Polo Vivo number one in South Africa
Elsewhere last month, the Polo surrendered its second most popular car status in South Africa, slipping to fourth spot with 1,950 examples registered. With 2,851 cars registered, the entry-level Polo Vivo held onto its number one position. Based on the revised fourth-generation Polo sold in Europe from 2005 to 2009, the Vivo has dominated the South African new car sales charts since it was introduced in 2009, when it took over from the fondly remembered Citi Golf as Volkswagen South Africa’s lowest-priced model.

*One year’s insurance included at no extra cost from Volkswagen Insurance is available on new Polo models ordered from 3 October 2017 to 2 January 2018 and registered by 31 March 2018 for drivers aged 18-80 (GTI is 25 and over). Drivers under 18 are not eligible. Excludes Northern Ireland. Drivers aged 18-24 are required to share their driving style data with a telematics product. Other eligibility criteria apply. Go to www.insurewithvolkswagen.co.uk/polo for full terms and conditions. This offer may be extended, changed or removed at any point. Volkswagen Motor Insurance from Volkswagen Financial Services is arranged and administered by Carrot Risk Technologies Limited.

**At the end of the agreement there are three options: i) pay the optional final payment and own the vehicle; ii) return the vehicle: subject to excess mileage and fair wear and tear, charges may apply; or iii) replace: part exchange the vehicle. With Solutions Personal Contract Plan. Subject to Status. 18+. T&Cs and exclusions apply. Indemnities may be required. Offer available when ordered by 02/01/18 from participating Retailers. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Accurate at time of publication 07/11/2017. Freepost Volkswagen Financial Services.

***Euro emissions standards: the ‘Euro 1’ standard was introduced in 1992 to help reduce vehicle emissions. Progressively more stringent Euro standards have been implemented since then – helping to lower emissions still further – with Euro 5 being introduced in 2009/2010. ‘Euro 6’, the standard that all new petrol and diesel cars must meet, is currently the toughest yet.

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