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23 September 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTD ‘not ruled out’, says VW

2009 Volkswagen GTD badge

Hot on the heels of revelations concerning the possible introduction of new Polo MPV, estate and convertible versions at last week’s Frankfurt motor show, well-respected UK motoring weekly Autocar reported yesterday that Volkswagen could launch a GTD version of the newcomer, similar to the 168bhp model in the Golf range.

The magazine claims that a company source has said the German giant ‘wouldn’t rule it out’. The same source stated that although it’s still early days for the new Polo, a performance diesel version could sit happily alongside the 200bhp GTI when that car is launched in spring 2010.

Autocar has also tested the new mid-range Polo 1.2 SE and given it four stars out of five in this week’s issue on sale today. Pick up a copy at all good newsagents, or if you prefer to get your reading kicks digitally, view the highlights of the in-depth road test online here.

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22 September 2009 ~ 1 Comment

2009 Polo: ‘For keeps’ promotional mailer

2009 Volkswagen Polo promotional mailer

Look what popped through the PoloDriver letterbox at the weekend. Much excitement greeted the metal DVD-sized tin embossed with ‘For keeps‘, which when opened, revealed Volkswagen’s latest new Polo marketing campaign. Surprisingly, it didn’t have a DVD in it.

Packing the hinged-lid tin with all sorts of items from events and holidays that someone on the hunt for a new premium small car might like to remember, Volkswagen has created a memory box that it hopes may be typical of the would-be New Polo buyer.

There’s a pencil from an African resort, a cocktail umbrella from a far-flung drink and two cards – one a free pass to all the museums in Paris and one from a villa in Italy. All of which are fictional of course, but it gets the message across that the new Polo might be one thing you’d like to keep, too.

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20 September 2009 ~ 0 Comments

ABT Polo

2009 ABT Volkswagen Polo

While Volkswagen is still deciding on the specification and power of the new Polo GTI, renowned German tuner ABT Sportsline has stepped in and announced its own take on the hot Polo. They say they’ve created a car with ‘character’, and although based on the five-door bodyshell, the result is certainly striking.

A carbon-look rear spoiler and apron insert give the ABT Polo a racy look, while the twin exhausts signal its intentions. Anthracite-coloured 8J x 18-inch alloy wheels add to the visual appeal, and in a throwback to 1970s styling motifs, the bottom of the doors have ABT-branded decals.

2009 ABT Volkswagen Polo

To go with the show, there’s also more go. Careful tuning of the new car’s petrol and diesel units has produced more power, but left the emissions and fuel economy the same as the standard model’s. The top-flight 1.2-litre TSI engine produces 128bhp in the Allgaeu tuner’s hands (up from 103), while the 1.6 TDI sees increases in all its forms (73bhp to 88bhp, 88bhp to 108bhp, 103bhp to 128bhp). The tuner also claims increased dynamism, too, with lowered springs to give improved handling.

ABT has yet to give prices or availability for the UK market.

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19 September 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Polo Selecta

Car modifying can be an exact science. If you fit wheels that are too big they can scrape the wheelarches. If you fit suspension that is too low, you lose your teeth over every speed bump, and every pothole in the road becomes a crashy black hole. Some are so deep, your nicely modified car could quite feasibly get lost in them, never to return. So, before you alter anything, here’s a tool which can give you a little cosmetic idea of what those mods will look like. But only if you have a 1975 to 1994 Volkswagen Polo.

Polo Selecta Mk 2
Old school: lowered Polo Coupe 2 with 14″ ‘Pirelli’ alloys and GT decals

Made by the Polo-Land forum in France, the brilliant Polo Selecta is based on a similar piece of kit for previewing modifications on old Beetles. First, you choose your steed (hatchback, coupé and saloon are all there, pre and post-facelifts), then apply a colour, and you’re away. Wheels can be chosen next – 1980s Ronal Turbos or classic ATS 15-inchers? Suspension can be slammed to the floor (but be wary of those violent sleeping policemen), and the rake of the car adjusted, too.

Polo Selecta Mk 2F
Modern with a classic twist: lowered Polo Coupé 2F with ATS 15″ alloys

Accessories can be added, as can different sets of lights, side repeaters, aerials, and side mouldings and spoilers can be added or taken off. Great detail has been made to make every detail right. With the colour palette, there’s even a selection of decals from the varying Polo models that had them. The possible combinations are staggering. It’s great fun, can while away more than a few minutes, and I can see it becoming quite addictive. Your Polo can instantly become a Po-low, and the age-old ‘What flavour is yours?’ Polo mint gag can be taken to new heights.

It’s a while since I modified a car, as these days I prefer my 1994 Polo GT near-standard (on the outside at least), but I could quite easily catch the online modifying bug. Although not radical, how are these for starters?

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15 September 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Polo GTI, MPV, cabrio and estate; new flavours mooted at Frankfurt

2009 Volkswagen Polo
Extended family: new Polo range could expand to include MPV, cabrio and estate. Three-door GTI to confirmed for 2010 with a firecracking 200bhp

The 63rd IAA Frankfurt (the 2009 Frankfurt motor show to you and us) opened its doors today, and fresh from the halls, UK motoring weekly Autocar reports that once-dead variants of the new Polo could be resurrected. In an exclusive interview with Dr Ulrich Hackenburg, VW’s product chief, a new MPV, cabrio and estate could all be still to come.

It’s been reported elsewhere that a new four-door saloon of the new car would be built in China, India and Russia for local consumption, but it may also now be offered to European markets (including the UK), too. One or other of the MPV and estate will come as well, both based on the notchback.

One model that definitely is coming, and one that we reported on just last week, is the new high-performance Polo GTI. Autocar also reports that tests on a 200bhp version have been taking place at the Nürburgring, ahead of a late 2010 launch. Standard kit could include a DSG gearbox with paddle-shifts and an electronic limited-slip differential, similar to the Golf GTI’s XDS system.

In a final twist, a 280bhp ‘Cup’ model could also be offered for limited sale. A 180bhp GTI Cup Edition version of the outgoing car was offered in European markets to tie in with the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup racing series, which has been visiting continental racing circuits since 2004.

2006 Volkswagen Polo GTI Cup Edition
Racing line: Polo GTI Cup Edition of 2006 had a 180bhp 1.8T engine, unique bodykit and interior, and was sold on mainland Europe in limited numbers

In a piece of equally encouraging news, Hackenburg declares that Volkswagen is determined to make the Polo ‘one of the most important Volkswagen models of all, rivalling the Golf in worldwide sales.’ About time, too. It’s only taken 34 years…

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