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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

15 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

A little more power, a little more obvious: the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI 230

This one slipped past us rather unnoticed. The latest Polo GTI ‘6C’ has attracted largely favourable reviews from both the press and owners, the 1.8-litre TSI-engined version of Volkswagen’s smallest sports hatchback having first appeared in 2015. With a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds and 189bhp, it is the most powerful series production Polo GTI to date. Or at least, until yesterday, we thought it was.

Power boost to 227bhp
It turns out there is an even hotter version of the legendary-badged Polo. Say ‘hello’ to the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230, which, as its name suggested, receives a power boost to 227bhp (230 PS). More surprisingly, it is an officially-sanctioned Volkswagen production product. Launched in April 2016, it is limited to Switzerland only. And, as restricted as its market availability is the number available: only a paltry – but rather neat – 230 examples are available to buy.

German tuner ABT has been roped in to help with upping the power to liberate an extra 38bhp over the standard Polo GTI, which sees the special edition make 265lb ft/360Nm of torque and romp on to a top speed of 149mph. The 0-62mph dash is now 0.2 seconds quicker, too, and thankfully – enthusiasts rejoice! – a six-speed manual is available alongside the seven-speed DSG transmission. Sadly, choice is rather more limited when it comes to the looks: the Polo GTI 230 is only available with five doors.

‘GTI 230’ decal badges
As befits a special edition go-faster model, ‘unique’ graphics tell other hot hatch fans what you are driving, with the Polo GTI 230 featuring carbon fibre door mirror caps, as well as a ‘GTI 230’ decal badge on the tailgate, and ‘GTI 230’ red and carbon-coloured foils on the door bottoms, front bumper upright sections and the bonnet. While they are more on the tasteful side, if you’re really a restrained type of driver, they may still be a little too much.

Standard equipment is upped on the regular Polo GTI, too. The ‘Sport Select’ package (amplified cabin sound, enhanced accelerator and steering response, and adjustable suspension), ‘Composition Media’ (with Bluetooth/DAB+ and App-Connect) infotainment system, electrically-folding door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, front central armrest, LED headlights, Volkswagen ‘Plug & Play’ subwoofer-fed 300W sound system, and a winter package all feature on the GTI 230.

‘Motorsport’ alloy rims
Perhaps more excitingly, although the Polo GTI 230 comes with the same 17-inch ‘Parabolica’ black and diamond-cut finish alloy wheels as the standard car, a set of black 10-spoke ‘Motorsport’ rims are also thrown in, complete with winter tyres and snow chains to deal with the sometimes harsh Swiss seasons. Optional kit on offer is the same as the regular Polo GTI, and includes a panoramic sunroof and leather or alcantara-trimmed seats.

How much for all this limited number, souped-up Polo GTI? CHF 29,100 to you sir or madam, around £23,251 at today’s exchange rates. A ‘customer benefit’ (yep, us too, no idea) of CHF 5,000 is available but with that not included, the Polo GTI 230 costs around £2,000 more than its standard 189bhp sister. Not that all that matters, as it’s all academic anyway: unless you’re in Switzerland, you can’t buy one.

Will the Polo GTI 230 sell? It still appears on the Volkswagen Switzerland website, so we’re guessing it hasn’t sold out already. The Swiss do have form, though, when it comes to special Polo GTI models: the 100-unit run GTI Carbon Edition of 2012 was even more limited. So it seems, in Switzerland at least, there is clearly a market for a slightly more obvious example of a not-usually-obvious German hot hatchback…

Want to find out more about the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230? Download a brochure here.

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09 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

FIA prohibits complete homologation of 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

It’s now official. This week, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) ruled that the 2017-specification Volkswagen Polo R WRC will not be eligible to compete in any of the events in the 2017 World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar.

Missed deadline
The ruling was given by officials on Tuesday 7 February, after consulting with other manufacturer teams in the series. The 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC was close to homologation completion, but missed the 1 January deadline, reports Autosport.

Volkswagen Motorsport had planned to offer the completely homologated car to private teams in this year’s WRC. Almost all the necessary homologation work had been completed by the German outfit, with hopes that the 2017-spec machine would be allowed through on a waiver.

However, after several discussions, that now will not happen. 

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets, told wrc.com: ‘Following customer enquiries, Volkswagen Motorsport asked the FIA for a waiver of the homologation of the 2017 Volkswagen Polo World Rally Car, with the purpose being to rent it out to private drivers and teams.

‘Constructive discussions’
‘It now turns out that this is not possible under the current WRC regulations. We fully accept the result, but at the same time regret it in the interests of our customers. We would like to thank the FIA for the very constructive discussions.’

Plans to offer private customers and teams the ex-championship winning 2016-specification Volkswagen Polo R WRC are still underway. Volkswagen Motorsport surprisingly pulled the plug on its World Rally Championship team in November 2016 after four seasons of domination.

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28 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen UK launches multi-incentive and retailer-based Polo Event

The Polo Event

Available at VW retailers from 27 January to 14 February inclusive, Volkswagen UK has launched the Polo Event, a multi-incentive way to buy a new Polo. A deposit contribution with inclusive insurance provides the foundation of this new pair of special offers, with the addition of a free service plan and a discount on the Polo Style Pack for prospective customers.

Savings potential
A £1400 deposit contribution is available to those who opt for a Volkswagen Financial Services’ Solutions Personal Contract Plan at 6.2 per cent APR representative (1). Volkswagen states that the savings potential on Polo models under the Polo Event promotion is enhanced by the offer of one year’s free insurance which is included in the offer (2).

During the duration of the Polo Event, all customers who order a new Polo will benefit from a free service plan, too, which includes the first two services (3). The £318* Polo Style Pack will also be discounted to by £82 to £236* during the special promotion period. Consisting of stainless steel door trims and tyre valve caps, tailgate chrome strip finisher and chrome exhaust trim, the Style Pack adds sports-orientated flourishes to the Polo’s smart shape.

The Polo Event Style Pack

As standard, every Polo model in the range features Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, a five-inch Composition Colour touchscreen infotainment system, and Electronic Stability Control. Entry-level S models start at £11,830* before the Polo Event offer is applied. Move up to Match Edition cars – from £13,315* – and automatic wipers, cruise control, parking sensors, and a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with App-Connect are all standard.

300-watt sound system
The £14,215* Polo Beats meanwhile features a 300-watt sound system with an eight-channel amplifier, while the £16,840 OTR SEL boasts LED headlights, 16-inch ‘Rivazza’ alloy wheels. The £16,760* Polo R-Line meanwhile features an ‘R-Line’ styling pack for added visual appeal. The ultimate sports Polo, the 189bhp £19,430* GTI, gets from 0 to 62mph in just 6.7 seconds, and is identified by its honeycomb and red-trimmed grille, 17-inch ‘Parabolica’ alloy wheels, as well as red brake calipers.

The Polo GTI’s eco-adversary, the BlueMotion, is powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which produces just 98g/km** of CO2, and has claimed combined cycle economy of 67.3mpg**. The Polo BlueMotion starts at £15,310*. The model with one eye on performance and economy, the 147bhp £18,440* Polo BlueGT has cylinder deactivation technology which shuts down two of the engine’s cylinders on light loads to keep fuel consumption low at a claimed 58.9mpg**.

For more details on all the models in the Polo range, together with brochures and pricing, and to use Volkswagen’s online configurator, visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

* RRP and On The Road (OTR) prices.

** Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are standard EU test figures for comparative purposes, and may not reflect ‘real world’ driving results. CO2 emissions shown refer to standard specification only.

(1) At the end of the agreement there are three options: i) own the vehicle: pay the optional final payment; ii) return the vehicle: subject to fair wear and tear, charges may apply; or iii) replace: part exchange the vehicle. Available on Solutions Personal Contract Plan. 18s and over. Subject to availability. Finance subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Excess mileage charges up to 4.8p per mile. Offer available when ordered by 14 February 2017. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Accurate at time of publication. Freepost Volkswagen Financial Services.

(2) One year’s insurance included at no extra cost from Volkswagen Insurance is available on new Polo models ordered from 21 December 2016 to 3 April 2017 and registered by 30 June 2017 for drivers aged 18-80 (BlueGT and GTI is 25 and over). Drivers under 18 are not eligible. Residents of Northern Ireland must be aged 19-80 and must have held a full driving licence for a minimum of 2 years. 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.

(3) Covers first two consecutive services (limited to one oil service and one oil and inspection service).

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17 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Sonorous special Polo Sound launched

2017 Volkswagen Polo Sound

The latest special edition of the current fifth-generation Polo has been launched in Germany. Not to be confused with the Polo Beats, the Polo Sound is just one of a new range of Sound models, which encompass all sizes of Volkswagen from the Up to the Sharan. Volkswagens states that the special Sound models have ‘innovative equipment’ and ‘wireless connectivity’, and all have distinctive features.

Distinctive features
On the Polo Sound, those distinctive features include front fog lamps, a gloss black front grille, 65 per cent darkened rear privacy glass, special ‘Sound’ B-pillar badges, and most distinctively of all, suitably-named 6J x 15 ‘Woodstock’ alloy wheels. Inside, there are LED-lit footwells (for that proper ‘nightclub’ feeling no doubt), ‘Equalizer’ dashboard trim, ‘Sound’ cloth-upholstered seats with ‘Wild Cherry’ stitching, and ‘Climatronic’ climate control.

The six-speaker ‘Composition Colour’ infotainment system can be upgraded with the optional 300-watt set-up from the other sonically-christened Polo, the Beats, which brings an eight-channel amplifier and a sub-woofer which really should make the Polo Sound live up to its audibly-tinged name.

2017 Volkswagen Polo Sound

Volkswagen claims that the enhanced audio option makes the Polo Sound ‘an impressive private club’, and while we doubt that, it comes as part of an €1250 ‘Sound Plus’ package which includes 7J x 16 ‘Salvador’ alloy wheels and LED-daytime running lights. An R-Line package is also available for Polo Sound models, and at €1185, features 7J x 17 ‘Mallory’ alloy wheels, and an R-Line body styling kit.

Prices for the Polo Sound start at €15,925 for the 1.0-litre 59bhp five speed manual version, rising to €21,175 for the 1.4-litre 89bhp TDI with seven-speed DSG gearbox. Find out more about the Polo Sound on the Volkswagen website.

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11 January 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Kristoffersson, Solberg and Volkswagen Motorsport for 2017 World RX assault

Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg

While Volkswagen Motorsport’s official involvement in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship may be over, it has confirmed a presence in this year’s FIA-administered rallycross series. In a surprise announcement, Volkswagen Sweden rallycross driver Johan Kristoffersson will join ex-world rally and two-time world rallycross champion Petter Solberg in heading up a new two-car Polo team for an assault on the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The pair of 560bhp Polo RX Supercars have been developed and engineered by Volkswagen Motorsport in its workshops in Hannover and will appear under the Volkswagen Sweden banner. However, they will be run by Solberg’s PSRX team – with technical support from Volkswagen Motorsport – and supported by Volkswagen Sweden and its distributors.

‘Everything is possible’
Former DS 3 RX driver and Norwegian Solberg was delighted with the new deal: ‘This is the dream. With backing from Volkswagen Sweden and the top-notch Johan Kristoffersson as my team-mate, everything is possible. From the start, we are aiming at gold in the championship. This is my priority for 2017: I want to take this for my PSRX Team and for Volkswagen Sweden,’ he said.

Solberg added: ‘My team has worked so hard for so many years to be in the position to make this deal and now we’re here, it’s fantastic. It really is the dream for me. We have so much potential, but we also have a lot of work to do – but what an incredible future we are working towards now. Everything in the world is possible and achievable.’

2016 Volkswagen Polo RX

‘A dream come true’
Kristoffersson was also excited about the new pairing: ‘I am incredibly proud to be part of this extremely exciting project with Petter and Volkswagen Sweden – it’s a dream come true in every way. Together we will do everything in our power to achieve success, and I intend to grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with both hands’. Kristoffersson finished second in the 2016 World RX series.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets concluded: ‘We are looking forward to working together with Petter, Johan and Volkswagen Sweden in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Petter’s team and Volkswagen Sweden will take care of the operation of the whole project. This strong co-operation provides everything needed to be successful.’

‘Future objectives’
Smeets told Autosport that the new deal and greater RX focus ‘ties in with our future objectives’ following Volkswagen’s dramatic World Rally Championship withdrawal. It has been reported in the past few months that Volkswagen was just one manufacturer which was interested in an all-electric rallycross series. Such a series would fit nicely with the manufacturer’s plans to become a leader in electric car mobility.

Meanwhile, Kristoffersson’s former team-mate Anton Marklund will race a Polo RX Supercar in the Euro RX series for the Marklund Motorsport team, alongside new signing Magda Andersson. The first round of the 2017 World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Barcelona, takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 31 March to 2 April.

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