Archive | Polo 2002-2009

10 February 2010 ~ 2 Comments

World Rally Championship Polo
‘a possibility’ for 2012 series

The UK’s Autocar reports that Volkswagen will is currently contemplating its motorsport future, and, excitingly, a decision to enter the 2012 World Rally Championship (WRC). The company will make a final decision on its motorsport plans later next month, but if the WRC promoters can convince the German giant of the series’ worth, a new 2.0-litre, 200bhp-plus Polo rally car could well be in the offing.

A tarmac or gravel-spec motorsport Polo is nothing new. Volkswagen launched the club-level Volkswagen Polo Rally Challenge in 2001 and officially fielded a Super 1600 version of the Polo GTI around the same time. There were Series 4 Polo-based rally cars, too, with entries in events in South Africa and Europe from 2002. Super 2000 (S2000) Polos were even running in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge as late as year. If WRC participation becomes a reality and the new Polo goes rallying, it will add yet another motorsport string to its bow; the track-based Volkswagen Polo Cup India starts in June.

Now that the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup championship has been replaced by a Scirocco-based series and with the WRC reportedly switching to S2000 cars in 2011, the time could be right for a new motorsport version of the Polo. Autocar states that even Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen thinks a new Polo (or Golf) rally car could be a possibility: ‘If we decided to go with the WRC, my view is that we would need at least a year and a half to prepare, so we would be looking at coming in for 2012,’ he said.

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05 January 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010: preliminary details

Not only has Volkswagen revealed the Indian market new Polo at the Auto Expo in New Delhi today, it also, more excitingly, announced plans for the Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010, a one-make racing championship. It will be the world debut for the new Polo as a racing variant once the season gets underway on 30 May. Volkswagen report that only a few days after the production car makes its debut in New Delhi, the racing version will turn a wheel in anger, so we think it’s fair to expect some action in the next few days.

The new Polo racer is powered by a 1.6-litre TDI engine, developing 129bhp and linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. Adjustable race suspension also features, along with 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels and 200/60 section slick tyres. Distancing itself from the showroom model, the circuit Polo has an aerodynamic body kit, consisting of redefined rear bodywork with a distinctive ‘deflector vane’ and special wind tunnel-developed front, rear and side skirts. An uprated exhaust system emphasises the sporty looks, producing a more angry sound. Design work for the new Polo Cup car was carried out by Volkswagen Design in Braunschweig, so it should be a proper piece of racing kit.

‘The new road-going Polo’s attractive design makes it a veritable eye-catcher. Apart from the demands which motorsport makes on a car, this was a major development objective for the new racing version as well,’ explains Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. ‘At Volkswagen, production development and motorsport work hand in hand, parallel to the presentation of the road car.’ In the cockpit, a Volkswagen sports-style steering wheel and a new shift gate add to the interior’s sporty appeal.

Just like the German ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup series which ran from 2004 to 2009 (above), the Volkswagen Polo Cup India will nurture fledging racing talent. Twenty drivers aged 16 to 24 will be plucked from driving camps all over India and the series could be a launch pad into a professional touring car career. And, just like the German series, all 20 cars will be built centrally by motorsport engineers at Volkswagen (this time at the Pune factory) and feature professional data logging and analysis.

The Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010 will be run by Volkswagen India Motorsport in conjunction with JK Tyres. We’ll bring you more details of this exciting new chapter in the Polo’s motorsport career as we get them.

Volkswagen Polo Cup India race car specification
Model Polo Cup India race car
Displacement (cc)
1598
Power output
129bhp
Engine
Modified ECU, engine mounts, flywheel, inlet and exhaust system
Transmission
Front-wheel drive, six-speed manual with modified final drive and gear ratios, limited slip differential
Front and rear suspension
Modified spring-damper units
Steering
Electro-mechanical steering rack
Brakes
344mm discs, racing ABS system
Wheels
17-inch multi-spoke alloy
Tyres JK 200/60 R 17 racing slicks
Unladen weight (kg) 1060
Safety system HANS (head and neck support) with tubular steel integrated roll cage, racing seat with head protector
Dimensions (l/w/h mm, approximate) 3970/1901/1462

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31 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

PoloDriver’s review of 2009

The last year of the ‘Noughties’ was a big year for the Volkswagen Polo and one of the busiest ever in the model’s 34-year history. We look back at the major Polo developments and happenings of 2009.

January

  • German motoring weekly Auto Motor und Sport names the Polo as the Best Car of 2009 in the supermini class.

March

  • Volkswagen surprises everyone and pulls the covers off the new Polo (in five-door form, above) at the Geneva motor show. New model is cleaner, lighter and safer than ever before. New fifth-generation has a new, sharper-looking body and new engines including a 1.2-litre 104bhp TSI and 1.6-litre common-rail TDI. New BlueMotion concept emits 87g/km of CO2, and will do 83.4mpg.
  • Rumours circulate about a US market launch.
  • VW Polo Challenge racing game app launched on the iPhone, topping 1.4 million downloads.

April

  • Volkswagen India starts pre-production of the new Polo at its Pune plant in India, ready for a 2010 market launch.

May

  • UK motoring monthly Car publishes its first online road test of the new model: ‘The new Polo isn’t perfect, but it’s an impressive step forward from a model that was well past its sell-by date.’
  • Volkswagen release more details of the new model after the International Driving Presentation in Sardinia.

June

  • First TV advertising commercials ‘Neon’ and ‘Ready For A New Class’ appear, using Pink’s Bad Influence as the soundtrack.


July

  • New Polo launched in selected contintental markets.

August

  • UK prices and specifications for the new Polo are released. S, Moda, SE and SEL trim levels announced, with prices starting at £10,635 for the 1.2 59bhp S, rising to £14,910 for the 1.6-litre 89bhp SEL TDI.
  • Euro NCAP awards the new Polo a five-star safety rating, making one of, if not the, safest car in its class.
  • First official pictures of the three-door model are released.

September

  • New Polo three-door (above) and production version of the BlueMotion concept appear at the Frankfurt motor show.
  • iMotor magazine publishes its first road test of the 74bhp 1.6-litre TDI, pitting it against its omnipresent foe, the Ford Fiesta.
  • UK motoring weekly Auto Express publishes its first group test of the new Polo. The car faces established competition from the Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2 and Renault Clio.
  • German motoring publication Auto Motor und Sport publishes renderings of the new Polo GTI flagship and SUV-style CrossPolo, while the UK’s Autocar states that GTD, cabrio, estate and MPV versions of the car could also be coming.

October

  • Cool’ TV advertising commercial airs and takes inspiration from Hollywood, mixing Grease-style looks to a Back To The Future idea.
  • PoloDriver gets behind the wheel of the new Polo and is deeply impressed with the newcomer, stating: ‘The fifth-generation model is the most refined, luxurious and capable incarnation of the Polo to date and may at last get the recognition it has been deserving of.’
  • UK prices are announced for the three-door new Polo range, taking the cost of the entry level model down to £9435.
  • Polo Sedan (saloon) spyshots published online. Could this be the model for India and the US?
  • New 1.2-litre TSI turbocharged engine released for ordering, slated to arrive in the UK in January 2010.
  • New Polo launched in the UK on 16 October 2009.
  • What Car? magazine tests the new Polo against nine rivals – Polo is victorious.

November

  • New Polo wins the European Car of the Year 2010 award fighting off competition from the Citroën C3 Picasso, Mercedes-Benz E-class, Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 3008, Škoda Yeti and Toyota iQ.
  • ‘Golden Steering Wheel’ and ‘Green Steering Wheel’ from Auto Bild and Bild am Sonntag magazines awarded to the new model at a ceremony in Berlin.
  • Volkswagen Driver magazine tests the 1.2 SE and says of the £11,385 newcomer: ‘Volkswagen’s latest Polo is the biggest, best and most stylish yet.’
  • New Polo wins Small Car of the Year at the Scottish Car of the Year awards and is crowned with the Auto Trophy by Autozeitung.

December

  • Continental order books open for the new Polo BlueMotion (above).
  • Car magazine lists the new Polo in its Top 10 Cars of 2009.

With the launch of the new fifth-generation it’s been a busy year for the Polo and also for us here at PoloDriver. We would like to thank the readers who have sent us congratulatory comments and best wishes, and hope that you’ll enjoy the developments coming to the website in 2010.

[Click on the ‘Polo 2009-’ tag in the tag cloud in the right-hand sidebar of the website to see all entries pertaining to the new Polo.]

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04 December 2009 ~ 4 Comments

Volkswagen + Karmann = Polo Cabrio?

In addition to the rumoured new Polo variants still to come, does the news that Volkswagen has acquired the now defunct Karmann production site signal a revivial of the Polo Cabriolet idea? The German car maker is reportedly opening a new car factory in 2011 on the Osnabrück site where the once-legendary coachbuilder built original Beetle and Mk 1 and Mk 3 Golf open-tops and has not only bought land, but the machinery and equipment, too.

VW has said that a new car will be built there and many industry insiders point to this being the production version of the BlueSport concept car, seen earlier this year. Reports also hint at a new generation of the evergeen Golf Cabriolet. A drop-top Polo has also been mooted before, and with the high level of interest in the new generation, an open-air model would undoubtedly be a halo car for the range, in addition to adding some good old-fashioned glamour.

VW Polo Cabrio Concept by Karmann

> Read More

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24 November 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Polo ‘R25’

2004 Volkswagen Polo 'R25' design study

With all the furore surrounding the rumours that Volkswagen might be considering a firecracking Polo R, we thought we’d share details of another high-performance Polo which was under consideration five years ago. We recently hinted at a design study for a hot shot Polo 2004-style. Well, here it is.

Rumoured to be called ‘R25’, ‘R18’ or ‘R23’ but commonly referred to as the R25, it was so-called due to a possible 2.5-litre engine configuration. But, let’s face it, Volkswagen was never going to sell a 2.5-litre Polo, so the numbers in the other proposed ‘R’ model designations also refer to engine displacements; in this case, 1.8 and 2.3.

2004 Volkswagen Polo 'R25' design study

We think the car we saw in 2004 at the fascinating and fabulous AutoMuseum Volkswagen in Wolfsburg was effectively a styling prototype. We’d seen photographs of the car on the internet before we went, but thought that the car had been stored away – it was never a permanent exhibit. So, imagine our surprise when in front of us sat a rare Mystic Blue piece of Polo history.

A little brother to the Golf R32, the R25 had a tough-looking bodykit made up of blistered wheelarches, deeper sills, larger spoiler and unique mesh-filled sports bumpers. Twin exhausts exited at the back, while 17″ Polo Dune BBS wheels filled the arches. A newly-developed 1.8, 2.3 or 2.5-litre engine was rumoured to have been fitted, but sources close to the museum stated that the car was in fact running a standard 1.4 unit.

2004 Volkswagen Polo 'R25' design study

This special one-off Polo was returned to Volkswagen’s development centre in Wolfsburg, and as far as we’re aware, was never seen again outside of the company. Why was the plug pulled? There could be a number of reasons. The on-sale price would have been high; there was no GTI version in the range at the time; or the bodykit might not have sat quite right with the feminine looks of the Series 4 Polo.

Whatever the reason, the car looked sensational, and it’s sad it never saw the light of day as a production Polo. Volkswagen is traditionally a conservative company and will no doubt keep a close eye on the sales of the recently-launched Golf and Scirocco Rs to see if a Polo version is worthwhile. But, we’ve recently read reports that the company has said no to the Polo R, stating that nothing smaller than a Golf will carry the ‘R’ badge, which, if correct, is a real shame.

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