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08 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo rises one place in UK new car registrations chart

2019 Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo increased in popularity during April 2019, and was the seventh most popular car in the UK, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). A total of 3,022 Polos were registered in April and its top ten ten chart placing is one position up on March. With a tally of 16,111 Polos registered in so far in 2019, the small Volkswagen is currently – and neatly – seventh in the year-to-date list, too.

Golf and Tiguan also in top ten

Once again, the Volkswagen Golf was in third place for April, moving up once place to second in the year-to-date tally. The Volkswagen Tiguan SUV was one place behind the Polo in eighth in the April set of figures, and the Ford Fiesta again tops both run-downs. The Ford Focus makes up the top three in both lists.

Overall, UK registrations declined again in April. A 4.1 per cent slump to a total of 161,064 units is the second lowest April volume since 2012. In an about turn, the supermini market fell 14.1 per cent, with the small family car segment also suffering a 10.6 per cent loss. Overall, alternatively-fuelled vehicle numbers rose by 12.7 per cent, with petrol electric hybrids the most popular choice. Battery electric cars also grew to 1,517 units, but still only account for 0.9 per cent of the market. Petrol and diesel volumes were down, but not by as significant amounts witnessed in recent months.

The UK’s top ten most popular cars during April 2019 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 5,606 (29,080, 1st)


2 Ford Focus: 9,734 (21,233, 3rd)


3 Volkswagen Golf: 3,953 (21,365, 2nd)

4 Nissan Qashqai: 3,791 (20,211, 6th)

5 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,584 (20,216, 5th)

6 Ford Kuga: 3,455 (14,260, 8th)
7 Volkswagen Polo: 3,022 (16,111 7th)
8 Volkswagen Tiguan: 2,822
9 Vauxhall Corsa: 2,728 (20,735, 4th)

10 Hyundai Tucson: 2,702

(The 2019 year-to-date top ten most popular cars absent from April 2019’s registration figures were the ninth-placed Kia Sportage and the tenth-placed Mini with 13,329 and 13,280 units recorded respectively.)

Polo Vivo atop South African new car chart
Once again, the Polo Vivo reigned supreme at the top of the South African new passenger car registrations chart. The latest NAAMSA South African registration figures point to 2,350 Polo Vivos finding new homes during April, with the sixth-generation Polo’s total at 1,165. A much smaller figure, 235 Polo Sedans were registered in South Africa last month.

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26 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTI R5 results round-up: Gilbert takes third place at Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône: Gilbert/Guieu

French rally driver Quentin Gilbert has taken his HK Racing Polo GTI R5 to third place at the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône, the second round of the 2019 French Rally Championship. Gilbert and co-driver Christopher Guieu just missed out on a runner-up podium position by just 0.8 seconds, beaten by Citroën C3 R5 driver Yohan Rossel.

But, Gilbert was still pleased his and Guieu’s result after the 130-mile event. ‘Of course, we’re disappointed to have missed out on second place by such a small margin, but all in all this is another good result. We had good speed, even though we could not keep up with the pace at the front.’

The winner of the 2019 Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières Rhône was reigning French rally champion Yoann Bonato in another Citroën C3 R5. Thanks to this result and their second place at the Rallye Touquet Pas-de-Calais opening round, Gilbert and Guieu are second in the overall 2019 championship standings. Find out more at www.ffsa.org.

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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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