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19 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

SAIC Volkswagen debuts Chinese-only Polo Plus at 2019 Shanghai motor show

2019 SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus

SAIC Volkswagen has unveiled the Polo Plus, a new version of the sixth-generation Polo, at the 2019 Shanghai motor show. The current Polo, Cross Polo, and Polo GTI models sold in China are based on the fifth-generation car, which disappeared from European markets in 2017.

Somewhat strangely, at 4,053mm, the SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus is 3mm shorter and 11mm narrower (1,740mm) than the European sixth-generation Polo, which is essentially the same car. The Polo Plus looks to be based on the Polo Beats, with the same 16-inch ‘Torsby’ alloy wheels and gloss black B-pillars featuring the ‘Beats’ logo. Distinctive, the Polo Plus also has a dual-tone Honey Yellow and black colour scheme, with a gloss black roof, rear spoiler, and mirror caps. C-pillar and rear hatch ‘Plus+’ badges mark out the new model.

2019 SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus

Honey Yellow accents
Unlike the Novo Polo sold in Brazil, the Polo Plus gets the European Polo’s front bumper, but the car is less highly specified. LED daytime running lights are missing for example, but the rear bumper does feature Polo R-Line-style fake exhaust finishers. Inside, Honey Yellow dashboard, door and centre console accents lift the standard sixth-generation Polo interior, while unique upholstery also points to a Polo which is a little more special.

Standard kit includes a panoramic sunroof, a colour touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a rear view camera. The Polo Plus is powered by the same 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine linked to the same five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearboxes as the standard Chinese Polo.

No prices or availability have yet been announced for the Polo Plus, but further details can be found online at the SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus micro-website.

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15 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTI R5 results round-up: Princen and Eelbode win 2019 TAC Rally

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI: TAC Rally, Princen/Eelbode

The Polo GTI R5’s success continues away from the headline WRC 2 category of the World Rally Championship. Kris Princen and Bram Eelbode have won the 2019 TAC Rally in a version of the new Volkswagen Motorsport customer sports rally car. The BMA Autosport pair were victorious in six of the 14 special stages, which took place at Tielt in West Flanders.

Princen and Eelbode were initially embroiled in a thrilling battle with countrymen Cédric Cherain and Xavier Portier from the THX team, who were also in a Polo GTI R5, but Cherain and Porter retired after a crash on the third stage. The TAC win is the second for Princen and Eelbode, who also stood on the top step of the podium at February’s Rally van Haspengouw. A third Polo GTI R5 driven by Patrick Snijders and Thiery Davy finished sixth at the TAC Rally, which was round three of the 2019 Belgian Rally Championship.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: TAC Rally, Snijders/Davy

Belgian driver Princen was delighted with his, Eelbode’s and the rallying Polo’s performance: ‘A great result. The pace was high the entire time and Cédric Cherain’s crash did not make it any easier at all, as we were constantly put under pressure by the chasing pack. It is very pleasing to have had no technical issues at all. Our Polo GTI R5 was fantastic. We have great faith in the car, even though we are still getting to know it.’

Crugnola and Ometto finish fifth at Rally Sanremo
Italian drivers Andrea Crugnola and Elia Pietro Ometto took their Gass Racing Polo GTI R5 to fifth place at the 2019 Rally Sanremo and won one special stage overall. The long-running event in the Italian Rally Championship featured 95 miles against the clock, spread over ten special stages. The Polo GTI R5 of Antonio Rusce and Sauro Farnocchia from X Race Sport finished ninth.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Rally Sanremo, Crugnola/Ometto

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11 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

A near perfect 2019 Falken Polo Cup weekend for Kruger at Zwartkops

2019 Falken Polo Cup: Jeffrey Kruger

Following the action-packed first round at Dezzi Raceway, the South African 2019 Falken Polo Cup sped into Pretoria and onto the Zwartkops Raceway for the second meeting on 5-6 April and gave defending champion Jeffrey Kruger two race wins out of a possible three victories. But as with round one, it was a testing time for Volkswagen Motorsport drivers Jonathan Mogotsi and Raais Asmal.

Surged to the front
Kruger’s near perfect weekend started at the beginning of the first race, when after qualifying fourth fastest, his Universal Healthcare/Comp Care Sport-liveried Polo GTI surged to the front of the 25-strong pack. Pole-setter Delon Thompson was swallowed by the field, and further down the ranks, Stiaan Kriel’s and Simon Need’s Polos came together with Kriel’s car rolling several times.

Fortunately, there were no injuries thanks to the Polo’s standard inherent strength and high safety levels, and when the chequered flag was waved, Kruger came home first, four seconds ahead of Clinton Bezuidenhout. Bradley Liebenberg rounded out the podium, with Jason and Keegan fourth and fifth respectively. Former Polo Cup champion Chris Shorter was sixth.

Race two saw Kruger repeat his pack-leading charge from race one, followed by Jason Campos. The defending champion was unstoppable, though, and Kruger took his second win of the day, two seconds ahead of Campos with Bezuidenhout close behind. Chris Shorter narrowly missed a podium position, with Jonathan Mogotsi and Bradley Liebenberg taking the points for fifth and sixth respectively.

A fierce attack
The question was, would Kruger make it three out of three? With every intention of scoring a hat-trick, Kruger started the race from second place, thanks to the starting order determined by the second fastest lap time set during the early morning qualifying session. Liebenberg led the pack this time, and the GTC driver successfully fended off a fierce attack from Kruger. When it came to the numbers, just three tenths of a second separated the two with Kruger just missing out on a third successive victory.

When the three race times were added up to determine the overall result, it was little surprise that Kruger emerged as the big winner. The current Polo Cup champion was pleased. ‘It was nearly perfect, but we scored some good points today so I’m really happy. The car is one piece and I am now looking forward to Cape Town,’ Kruger said. Bezuidenhout was awarded second overall just ahead of Jason Campos and Bradley Liebenberg, with Keegan Campos taking fifth ahead of Chris Shorter.

Volkswagen Motorsport’s Jonathan Mogotsi and Raais Asmal endured slightly less fortunate times at Zwartkops. Mogotsi enjoyed a good qualifying session, but a technical infringement forced both him and Asmal to the rear of the grid. This put the pair on the back foot for the entire weekend while a punctured tyre in race two didn’t help Asmal’s cause.

‘A successful series’
The Zwartkops race weekend also saw fuel giant Total announce its involvement with the series. ‘Total has joined the Falken Polo Cup as the official fuel supplier through its Excellium brand for the rest of the season,’ said Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa. ‘It is great news and it will help to ensure that the Falken Polo Cup remains such a successful series in the years to come. We would like to welcome Total to our family,’ he enthused.

Round three of the 2019 Falken Polo Cup will take place on the weekend of 10-11 May at Cape Town’s fast and furious Killarney circuit.

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09 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTI R5 results round-up: Rusce fourth place at Rally Appennino Reggiano

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, 40th Rally Appennino Reggiano: Rusce/Farnocchia

Italian Polo GTI R5 pilots Antonio Rusce and Sauro Farnocchia finished fourth at the 40th Rally Appennino Reggiano last weekend, missing the bottom step of the podium by just 3.1 seconds. The first round of the 2019 International Rally Cup, the Italian event featured 90 miles of stages.

Rusce and co-driver Farnocchia won one of the ten special stages in the R5 class at the Emilia-Romagna asphalt rally. The duo also finished in the top three eight times. The Rally Piancavallo on 11-12 May is the next round in the International Rally Cup series. Read more at www.ircup.it.

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08 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

New Polo, Vento and Ameo Black & White Edition models launched in India

2019 Volkswagen Polo Black & White Edition (India)

Volkswagen India has launched a new Polo special model, the Polo Black & White Edition. Based on the range-topping Polo Highline Plus model and only available in Deep Black or Candy White paint finishes, the special edition features a range of equipment and unique features.

Also available in Vento Polo-based saloon and Ameo Polo-based compact saloon models, too, the Polo, Vento and Ameo Black & White Editions incur no additional cost when compared to the versions on which they are based. Special kit includes grey lower body graphics, 16-inch ‘Portago’ alloy wheels, gloss black rear roof spoiler (Polo), gloss black rear boot spoiler (Vento and Ameo), a black-painted roof, black wing mirror cappings, a ‘Black & White’ wing badge, as well as ‘Black & White’ leatherette seat covers. The app-based Volkswagen Connect system is also standard.

‘Dash of style’
Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars said: ‘We constantly enhance our product offerings in line with evolving consumer aspirations. The Polo and Vento have been strong contenders within their segments. Adding a dash of style, these enhanced feature models make an attractive value proposition for our discerning customers’.

For the Indian market, the Polo is currently offered with 74bhp 1.0 MPI petrol and 88bhp 1.5 TDI engines. The Vento offers more choice with 103bhp 1.2 TSI and 103bhp 1.6 MPI petrol engines, in addition to a 107bhp 1.2 TDI unit. The Ameo meanwhile comes with the same 74bhp 1.0 MPI petrol engine as the Polo and a more powerful 107bhp 1.5 TDI unit. From 1 January 2019, all Volkswagen India cars are also offered with a four-year/1 lakh standard warranty, four-year free roadside assistance and also a scheme which offers three free services in one year, or up to 15,000 km.

The Volkswagen India Polo range currently starts at RS 5.75 lakh, with the Vento beginning at Rs 8.68 lakh. The smaller Ameo range is priced from 5.87 lakh. For more information on the Polo, Vento and Ameo Black & White Editions and the rest of the ranges, visit the Volkswagen India website.

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