Following our recent updated ‘Heritage’ page, here is a group of publicity images from the Audi 50’s launch, back in a more naive 1974. A sister car to the original Series 1 Polo, the Audi 50 was produced from 1974-1978 when the more successful baby Volkswagen deleted the Audi from the catalogues. Our thanks to Michael Höcker and the gang at Audi 50 Friends for permission to use the pictures – be sure to visit the brilliant German home of the Audi 50 for all the facts, figures and pictures on the first-generation Polo’s prestigious sister.
Archive | Polo 1975-1981
The Audi 50 played an important part in the history of the Volkswagen Polo. Born into a energy crisis-hit world, the smallest production Audi ever built soon had a cheaper and more popular sister to play with, as Volkswagen launched its own less expensive version. Setting a template for the premium supermini, the 50 was a test bed for many technological developments and ultimately gave its life for the baby VW. We’ve just updated our history of Audi’s forgotten supermini. Pop across here to read the full story of the Audi 50.
So far this week there seems to be a motorsport theme developing on PoloDriver. Yesterday we posted news about the Volkswagen Polo Cup India and today we have something very special to report on. Taking internet forums by storm is the innocent-looking AME Racing Polo with 1047bhp. Yes, that’s right. A Series 1 Polo with more power than a Bugatti Veyron. It is, quite literally, a pocket rocket, and it’s brought out the boy racer in us.
It’s set all sort of class best times at Volkswagen and drag racing events in Germany and blitzed, no, annihilated the competition. Just look the videos in this post; it leaves everything for dead and shoots off at such a speed it’s almost cartoon fast. If not cartoon fast, then definitely with performance even more scorching than Disney’s modified Herbie stunt cars. But what makes it go so quickly?
The basic Series 1 Polo bodyshell has had a 1.9-litre turbocharged 16V engine shoehorned into the small engine bay (a debate rages as to whether it’s actually a V6), mated to a four-wheel drive transmission from an Audi TT. AME’s drag star can rev to 9400rpm, do the standing quarter mile in 9.5 seconds, get to 62mph in 2.3 seconds (with 125mph coming up four seconds later) and has a top speed of 160mph and 950Nm of torque. It’s the stuff of legend.
Getting the power down is clearly and occasionally a problem. The car visibly bucks and jumps and you’ve only got to look at the size of the madly large tyres to see what’s needed to try to get maximum traction. The AME Polo runs on 15-inch alloys with M+H slicks or 16-inch rims with 205/55 16 boots stuffed under the tiny arches. The engine has far too many mods to list here; visit AME’s page on the car to find out exactly what’s been done.
Volkswagen’s engineers never expected the Seventies Polo to go like this; the highest-powered factory-approved model was the 59bhp 1272cc Polo GT of 1979. The AME super-Polo has 988bhp more and although it’s got around 300kg more (980kg with driver) to lug around, the performance is simply off the scale. The world’s fastest Polo? We wouldn’t bet against it. Watch all the videos linked from these and be amazed.
Car modifying can be an exact science. If you fit wheels that are too big they can scrape the wheelarches. If you fit suspension that is too low, you lose your teeth over every speed bump, and every pothole in the road becomes a crashy black hole. Some are so deep, your nicely modified car could quite feasibly get lost in them, never to return. So, before you alter anything, here’s a tool which can give you a little cosmetic idea of what those mods will look like. But only if you have a 1975 to 1994 Volkswagen Polo.
Old school: lowered Polo Coupe 2 with 14″ ‘Pirelli’ alloys and GT decals
Made by the Polo-Land forum in France, the brilliant Polo Selecta is based on a similar piece of kit for previewing modifications on old Beetles. First, you choose your steed (hatchback, coupé and saloon are all there, pre and post-facelifts), then apply a colour, and you’re away. Wheels can be chosen next – 1980s Ronal Turbos or classic ATS 15-inchers? Suspension can be slammed to the floor (but be wary of those violent sleeping policemen), and the rake of the car adjusted, too.
Modern with a classic twist: lowered Polo Coupé 2F with ATS 15″ alloys
Accessories can be added, as can different sets of lights, side repeaters, aerials, and side mouldings and spoilers can be added or taken off. Great detail has been made to make every detail right. With the colour palette, there’s even a selection of decals from the varying Polo models that had them. The possible combinations are staggering. It’s great fun, can while away more than a few minutes, and I can see it becoming quite addictive. Your Polo can instantly become a Po-low, and the age-old ‘What flavour is yours?’ Polo mint gag can be taken to new heights.
It’s a while since I modified a car, as these days I prefer my 1994 Polo GT near-standard (on the outside at least), but I could quite easily catch the online modifying bug. Although not radical, how are these for starters?