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04 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Forge Motorsport releases new dump valve kit for Polo 1.0 TSI

Forge Motorsport 2014-2017 Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI dump valve kit

Well-respected Volkswagen and Audi tuner Forge Motorsport has released an all-new dump valve kit for 2014 to 2017 ‘6R’ and ‘6C’ 1.0-litre TSI-engined Polos, as well as their closely-related Audi A1, SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Fabia derivatives. Priced from £207.77 including VAT, the FMDV9 kit for the PR-TJ4 engine is a complete ‘fit and forget’ part.

Specifically designed for this application, the twin-piston design has a number of advantages, including an ability to increase throttle response during gear changes thanks to a reduction in turbo lag. It also helps the turbocharger maintain its rotational speed when under acceleration and, Forge reports that it gives a loud (and addictive) sound when lifting off the throttle!

Silicone from turbo to manifold
The kit also comes with a new, longer-than-OEM-lasting hose, which features an inner layer of Flurosilicone, which makes it more resistant to oil exposure, temperature and pressure, and also suitable for modern long-life coolants, Organic Acid Technology coolants or air-containing oil mist. Available in a choice of colours, the kit completely replaces the OEM plastic pipe from the turbo to manifold with silicone.

Impressibly reliable reputation
All the required couplers and fixings are included, too. CNC-machined alloy couplers and jubilee clips ensure that the kit is built to OEM standards, and will perform faultlessly for countless miles. Future-proofing the car’s induction system, Forge even throws in a limited lifetime warranty. Not that you’ll need it, as Forge’s products enjoy an impressively reliable reputation, and won’t set off engine warning lights or trigger fault codes.

Forge Motorsport’s Polo 1.0 TSI dump valve ships with everything required for a straightforward installation, including detailed fitting instructions. Call call 01452 380999, head to www.forgemotorsport.co.uk or email info@forgemotorsport.co.uk for more details.

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07 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen South Africa launches new Polo GTI from R375,900

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI (South Africa)

Following its market introduction in Europe – UK customer and VW retailer cars are now arriving – the latest sixth-generation Polo GTI has been launched in South Africa. Priced from R375,900, the new hot Polo is over R12,000 cheaper than the model it replaces, despite having more on-board technology and – with 147kW / 197bhp – more power.

Almost identical to the European-specification model, one of the main reasons for the South African Polo GTI’s lower price is that of local assembly. The car is built at Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory, rather than imported from Europe, and features the same 2.0 TSI turbocharged engine as its continental cousin, too.

Key ingredients
The key ingredients are the same as the latest European Polo GTI. There’s 320Nm / 236lb ft of torque from the engine, 15mm lower sports suspension, VW’s ‘XDS’ electronic differential lock, and a whole host of technological safety systems. These include assisted parking, a blind spot monitor, driver and rear traffic alert systems, as well as a tyre pressure loss indicator.

All new sixth-generation Polos receive an automatic post-collision braking system, and an advanced safety package is available on the GTI which includes blind spot detection, electric folding mirrors, parallel park assist, park distance control systems and a rear view camera.

As with other GTIs, the South African Polo GTI is front-wheel drive. It features coil spring struts and lower wishbones with a track-stabilising scrub radius. The front running gear also features an anti-roll bar, and the front coil springs have telescopic gas-filled dampers integrated into the spring struts. The rear running gear consists of semi-independent twist-beam suspension with an integrated anti-roll bar, featuring gas-filled dampers and separate springs.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI (South Africa)

‘A great driving experience’
Volkswagen South Africa states that ‘in the new Polo GTI the engine starter button becomes the trigger for a great driving experience’, and, having put the car through its paces at the Ascari race circuit near Malaga recently, we’d agree. We’d also confer with Volkswagen South Africa’s statement that the GTI concept allies ‘dynamism, safety and comfort’, and in the case of the 1,335kg Polo GTI, part of that dynamism comes from its fast 6.7-second 0 to 62mph time and 237km/h / 147mph top speed.

The 1,988cc ‘EA888’ TSI engine delivers maximum power between 4,400 and 6,000rpm, with maximum torque coming in from just 1,500rpm up to 4,400rpm. Like its European counterparts, the South African Polo GTI is launched with only a six-speed DSG gearbox, and the option of ‘Sport Select’ suspension with active dampers. As well as the two ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes, new Polo GTI drivers can also choose from four ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Individual’ settings in the standard ‘Driver Profile’ selection.

Dynamic and purposeful look
As important as the driving experience, though, when it comes to a GTI, are the looks. And just as with its mechanical make-up, the South African Polo GTI is identical to its European relatives. The enlarged dimensions of the new Polo allow for a more dynamic and purposeful look, but extra GTI signifiers identify the top-flight sports model. The traditional red grille stripe and badge (now also in red), and honeycomb grille are present, while the grille stripe flows into the optional LED headlights.

A more muscular front bumper with sections picked out in gloss black add to the design, while the rear boasts a gloss and matt black rear spoiler, an under-bumper diffuser, a pair of chrome exhausts and darker, tinted LED tail lamps. In profile, keen GTI spotters will see the 17-inch ‘Milton Keynes’ (‘Parker’ in the UK) alloy wheels – 18-inch ‘Brescia’ rims are available as an option – and the matt black sill extensions. Red brake calipers and the ‘GTI’ ‘arrow’ badge on the front wing also mark out the new Polo GTI.

Colours, as with the original Golf GTI of 1976, are limited. The traditional Deep Black Pearl Effect, Flash Red, and Pure White can be chosen as well as the new Reef Blue Metallic. Inside, the roof lining and pillars are trimmed in Titan Black material, while the seats feature ‘Art Velour’ upholstery, and sadly not the ‘Jacara’ check material of European cars. Black leather is an option, though, and the dashpad covering can be specified in Deep Iron or Velvet Red finishes, although Flash Red cars will strangely only come with Deep Iron dashpads.

The new South African Polo GTI’s cabin is as impressive as it is on other sixth-generation Polos, with an eight-inch ‘Composition Media’ colour touchscreen infotainment system as standard – the ‘Discover Media’ system is optional – and the option of the 10.25-inch Active Info Display digital instruments. GTI-specific features include white ambient lighting, and a multifunction display plus driver information system.

Available to order now, find out more about the the Volkswagen South Africa Polo GTI at the Volkswagen South Africa website.


2.0 TSI 147kW DSG, six-speed DSG, 5dr: R375,900

All prices include VAT and emissions tax. The new Volkswagen South Africa Polo GTI models come with a 3-year / 45,000km Service Plan, 
3-year / 120,000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15,000km.

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06 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo remains in UK’s most popular top five cars list

Following its return to the UK’s top 10 most popular cars list last month, once again the Volkswagen Polo was the fifth most sought-after model during May 2018, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). A total of 3,961 Polos found homes in May, a scant 29 units ahead of its Vauxhall Corsa rival. The Ford Fiesta once again beat both, though, with an almost double 6,896 registrations tally.

Volkswagen’s perennial best-seller, the Golf, slipped to third place with 6,372 units registered, though with 33,057 cars with new homes, it stays in second place for the year-to-date. Here, too, though, the Ford Fiesta leads the market with 47,515 examples registered since January. The UK market as whole grew 3.4 per cent in May, with 192,649 cars registered. In May 2017, the market saw a -8.5 per cent decline, while 2018 year-to-date figures also record negative values, the UK market falling 6.8 per cent.

Other figures of note are that of hybrids and plug-in cars which rose more than a third (36.1 per cent, 11,240 units) to take a record 5.8 per cent market share, while superminis (the Polo’s segment) were up six per cent. Diesels fell by 23.6 per cent, while petrol-engined car totals rose by 23.5 per cent. The UK’s top 10 most popular cars during May 2018 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 6,896 (47,515, 1st)
2 Ford Focus: 6,573 (25,917, 4th)
3 Volkswagen Golf: 6,372 (33,057, 2nd)
4 Nissan Qashqai: 4,956 (26,127, 3rd)
5 Volkswagen Polo: 3,961 (16,533, 9th)
6 Vauxhall Corsa: 3,932 (21,927, 5th)
7 Mini: 3,505 (17,802, 7th)
8 Mercedes-Benz C Class: 2,955 (16,414, 10th)
9 Mercedes-Benz A Class: 2,939 (17,788, 8th)
10 Audi A3: 2,791

(The UK’s 2018 year-to-date top 10 most popular car absent from May’s registration figures was the sixth-placed Ford Kuga, with 18,570 registrations recorded.)

Further afield, the sixth-generation Polo has overtaken the fifth-generation Polo-based Polo Vivo as the best-selling passenger car in South Africa. During May 2018, 1,979 examples of the latest Polo found new homes in South Africa, beating the Polo Vivo by a mere 75 units. The Polo Vivo has been consistently top of the registrations chart since its introduction in 2010.

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04 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Peak Polo: new Volkswagen Polo Vivo Maxx revealed

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Maxx

Hot in the wheel tracks of the new Polo Vivo, Volkswagen South Africa has revealed the latest version of the Polo Vivo Maxx. Just like the previous model, the latest Polo Vivo Maxx is based on the most recent version of the Cross Polo, in this case the superceded fifth-generation car.

Only available as a five-door hatchback, the new Polo Vivo Maxx is powered by a 104bhp / 77kW 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Looking for all the world like the previous-generation Cross Polo – even right down to the same 17-inch ‘Canyon’ alloy wheels and ‘Honey Orange’ paint colour.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Maxx

Differentiated by its raised 15mm ride height, silver exterior mirror caps and roof rails, chrome exhaust trim and ‘Maxx’ sticker on the tailgate and rear doors, not to mention the lower body plastic cladding, the 2018 Polo Vivo Maxx is obviously not the same as its regular Polo Vivo relatives. Inside, there are aluminium pedals, front electric windows, manual air conditioning, a multifunction steering wheel, and six-speaker radio with SD / USB / Bluetooth / App Connect connectivity.

Thanks to the upgrade to the fifth-generation Polo base, the latest Polo Vivo Maxx gets similar safety kit to the standard Polo Vivo. Central locking, driver and front passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), front fog lights, a tyre pressure monitor, ISOFIX child seat mounting points, an immobiliser, and an interior ultrasonic alarm with motion sensor are standard.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Maxx

Price of R225,000
The 2018 Polo Vivo Maxx is priced at R225,000 (VAT and emissions tax included)
, and comes as standard with a three-year / 120,000km warranty and six-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are set at 15,000km, while customers can also tailor their package with the optional Volkswagen Automotion Maintenance Plan and Volkswagen Automotion Service Plan.

The best-selling passenger car in South Africa during 2017, the over 22,000 Polo Vivos were sold last year. Manufactured at the Volkswagen South Africa plant in Uitenhage, over 11,000 second-generation Polo Vivos – based on the fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo – have been built since February.


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09 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Rear seat belt safety issue found on sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo models

2018 Volkswagen Polo Beats (UK)

Volkswagen has stated that passengers of the sixth-generation Polo as well as its SEAT Ibiza and Arona SUV siblings should not use the middle rear seat after the left rear passenger belt came unbuckled during high-speed lane-change manoeuvres conducted by Finnish magazine Tekniikan Maailma.

UK car weekly car magazine Autocar broke the story on the morning on 9 May, and reports that Volkswagen has advised not to use the rear place on affected cars until an official recall has been issued. Tekniikan Maailma discovered that the rear left buckle can come undone when the cars are carrying their full complement of five passengers. Autocar reports that a Volkswagen representative confirmed that the company ‘will provide a technical solution shortly and recall the vehicles concerned’.

‘Design fault’
It is reported that the higher-mounted middle buckle is pushed onto the lower left rear latching under high-speed left direction lane changes due to the weight of the passenger in the centre seat. Tekniikan Maailma confirmed that all three cars acted in this way, and even tested a pair of SEAT Aronas to make sure it wasn’t an isolated case, saying that the unlatching is ‘caused by a design fault’.

Owners of the latest sixth-generation Polo are advised not to use the middle rear seat until affected models have been remedied with a redesigned seat belt lock fixing. Volkswagen told Autocar that the recall will be ‘carried out in co-operation with the national vehicle registration authorities’ in markets where the car is sold.

Update, 11 May 2018: Volkswagen has officially confirmed there is a rear seat belt lock fixture issue and has released the following statement.

Volkswagen announces a recall for the current Polo generation due to issue with rear seat belt lock fixtures

  • Technical solution has been identified
  • Recall campaign to start within the next few weeks
  • Safety remains top priority for Volkswagen

Wolfsburg – Volkswagen has confirmed a technical issue on the new Polo (model year 2018). There is the possibility that in rare situations (e.g. sudden quick lane changes with five passengers on board) and when the rear center seat and the rear left seat are occupied at the same time, the left seat belt lock could be unintentionally released.

At Volkswagen safety remains a main priority and the brand has identified a technical solution: a redesigned belt lock fixture, which will prevent this from happening.

Volkswagen Polo is legally homologated and safe to drive; however the brand advises its customers not to use the middle seat of the new Polo until the car will be equipped with the redesigned belt lock fixture.

Volkswagen is now addressing the concerned authorities for their final validation in order to implement the solution, both on vehicles in the market as well as on the future series production.

Within the next few weeks, Volkswagen will start a recall campaign. Customers will receive a letter so as to plan an appointment with a Volkswagen service partner. The check, as well as the implementation of the redesigned belt lock fixture will be free of charge.

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