Heritage

35 years, over 10 million sales: five generations of the Polo worldwide

1975

  • Series 1 Polo launched in N and L specifications
  • 40bhp, 895cc engine
  • Length 3,505mm; width 1,562mm; height 1,334mm; wheelbase 2,337mm.

1976

  • Larger engine; 1.1-litre 50bhp introduced to the range.

1979

  • 500,000th Polo produced
  • Facelifted Series 1 Polo appears with plastic bumpers, larger grille and revised dashboard
  • 1272cc 60bhp Polo GT launched.

1981

  • Series 2 Polo launched
  • 1043cc 40bhp, 1093 50bhp and same capacity Formel E engines designed to run on four rather than two-star petrol
  • Length 3,655mm (+650mm); width 1,580mm (+18mm); height 1,355mm (+21mm); wheelbase 2,335mm (-2mm)
  • Two bodystyles: ‘squareback’ hatchback and notchback saloon (‘Classic’).

1982

  • Polo Coupé introduced with 1093cc 50bhp engine.

1983

  • 1,000,000th Polo produced.

1986

  • 2,000,000th Polo produced.

1990

  • Series 2 comprehensive facelift
  • Length 3,765mm (+110mm); width 1,570mm (-10mm); height 1,350mm (-5mm); wheelbase 2,335 mm (+0mm)
  • Polo becomes first small car to be fitted with catalyst as standard to meet emissions legislation.

1991

  • 3,000,000th Polo produced
  • Supercharged Polo G40 with 1.3-litre 113bhp engine launched.

1994

  • Series 3 Polo launched with petrol engines including include 1.0-litre 45bhp, 1.3-litre 55bhp and 1.6-litre 75bhp
  • First time for: diesel engine, five-door bodystyle, automatic transmission and a standard driver’s airbag on all but the entry-level L model
  • 4,000,000th Polo produced
  • Length 3,715mm (-50mm); width 1,655mm (+85mm); height 1,420mm (+70mm); wheelbase 2,400mm (+65mm).

1996

  • Polo Saloon launched, replacing Series 2 Polo Classic
  • Special edition Polo Harlequin introduced with 1.4-litre 60bhp engine
  • 1.9-litre 64bhp diesel engine makes its debut.

1997

  • Polo Estate launched
  • 5,000,000th Polo produced.

1998

  • 6,000,000th Polo produced.

2000

  • UK launch of facelifted Series 3 model
  • Engine highlights include 1.4-litre TDI PD diesel and, for the first time, a GTI with 1.6-litre 124bhp engine and modifications in appearance
  • At 25th anniversary, 6,480,000 Polos had been built.

2001

  • 7,000,000th Polo produced
  • Facelifted saloon and estate launched.

2002

  • Series 4 Polo launched
  • Class-first as all models feature ABS and twin front airbags as standard
  • Length 3,897mm (+182mm); width 1,650 mm (-5mm); height 1,465mm (+45mm); wheelbase 2,460mm (+60mm).

2003

  • 8,000,000th Polo produced
  • 1.4-litre 84bhp FSI direct injection petrol model launched. The Polo becomes the first Volkswagen in the UK to feature this technology
  • Twist model launched.

2004

  • Polo Dune launched – a five-door variant featuring raised suspension and enhanced SUV-style bodywork. Available with a 1.2-litre 64bhp three-cylinder petrol; a 1.4-litre 74bhp four-cylinder petrol; and a 1.4-litre 74bhp TDI three-cylinder diesel.

2005

  • 9,000,000th Polo produced
  • International debut of the revised Polo at the Leipzig motor show in April. Revised Polo on sale in the UK from June
  • Length 3,916mm (+19mm); width 1,650mm (+0mm); height 1,465mm (+0mm); wheelbase: 2,460mm (+0mm).

2006

  • Polo GTI with 1.8-litre turbo 148bhp engine launched
  • Revised Polo Dune launched with 1.4-litre 74bhp petrol and 1.4-litre TDI 69bhp diesel.

2007

  • 10,000,000th Polo produced
  • BlueMotion technology debuts in the UK on the Polo. Model launched with a 1.4-litre TDI 79bhp engine which returns 74.3mpg and emits just 99g/km of CO2.

2009

  • International debut of the Series 5 Polo at the Geneva motor show in March
  • Length 3,952mm (+36mm); width 1,682mm (+32mm); height 1,454mm (-13mm); wheelbase 2,470mm (+10mm).
  • Premier of three-door and BlueMotion versions at the Frankfurt motor show in September
  • Fifth-generationPolo named European Car of the Year 2010 in November.

2010

  • Latest 91g/km Polo BlueMotion 1.2 TDI available to order in UK retailers from February
  • New 178bhp 1.4 TSI Polo GTI unveiled at the Geneva motor show, along with SUV-styled, two-wheel drive CrossPolo
  • Budget Polo Vivo hatchback and saloon replace the CitiGolf in South Africa, becoming an instant sales success
  • New Polo awarded World Car of the Year 2010 title in New York
  • Premier of new Polo Saloon – named the Vento in India – in Moscow in June.

(Thanks to the Volkswagen UK Press Office.)

For in-depth histories of the Polo generations, special model details, production tallies and technical specifications, visit the links below or pages in the drop-down ‘Heritage’ menu:

Series 1 Polo: 1975-1981
Series 2 Polo: 1981-1994
Series 3 Polo: 1994-2001

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