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to the online resource for everything Volkswagen Polo.

Find the latest Polo news from around the world, past-model flashbacks, road tests, spotlights on selected models, as well as views from contributors here. If there is a Polo story that you would like to share or if you would just like to get in contact, email us at info@polodriver.com

07 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo is once again one of the UK’s most popular cars

2017 Volkswagen Polo (UK)

After missing the chart in January, the Volkswagen Polo is once again one of the UK’s top 10 most popular cars. In February 2017 – and despite being only months away from the end of production – 1,746 examples of the fifth-generation VW supermini found new homes, putting it in seventh place.

The latest registration figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) once again saw the Ford Fiesta at the top of the most popular cars list, even as, like the Polo, that car is due to be replaced by a new model very soon. A total of 4,282 Fiesta were registered in February, the small Ford sitting pretty at the top of the year-to-date figures pile, too.

The UK’s top 10 most popular passenger cars during February 2017 and the year overall (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 4,282 (12,777, 1st)
2 Volkswagen Golf: 2,949 (8,404, 2nd)
3 Vauxhall Astra: 2,170 (6,235, 4th)
4 Ford Focus: 1,971 (6,767, 3rd)
5 Nissan Qashqai: 1,829 (5,329, 6th)
6 Mercedes-Benz C Class: 1,760 (5,990, 5th)
7 Volkswagen Polo: 1,746 (4,742, 9th)
8 Audi A3: 1,532 (4,650, 10th)
9 Vauxhall Corsa: 1,362 (5,260, 7th)
10 BMW 3 Series: 1,341

(The 2017 year-to-date top 10 most popular car absent from February 2017’s registration figures was the eighth-placed Nissan Juke with 4,759 cars registered.)

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06 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Special edition Polo Vivo recreates iconic and popular Volkswagen Citi Golf

2017 Volkswagen Citi Vivo (South Africa)

Volkswagen South Africa has revived its iconic ‘Citi’ name for a new special edition version of the best-selling Polo Vivo. Most Volkswagen fans will know the nameplate when applied to the Citi Golf, South Africa’s version of the first-generation Golf which stayed on sale as an inexpensive entry-level car after the second-generation of the venerable hatchback was introduced in 1984.

Special edition of 2,000
Keeping with the spirit of the original Citi Golf, the Citi Vivo is available in a similar vibrant Flash Red, Sunflower Yellow and Cornflower Blue palette as South Africa’s popular Volkswagen, which finally ended production in 2009. Over 377,000 Citi Golfs were built, but the series of Citi Vivo specials will be much rarer, with Volkswagen South Africa stating that only 2,000 examples will be made.

The Citi Vivo is based on the 74bhp/55kW 1.4 Conceptline entry-level model. In addition, the Citi Vivo gains white-painted 15-inch ‘Lakeside’ alloy wheels, door mirror caps, door handles and tailgate release, all of which evoke the image of the Citi Golf, helped by the extensive white ‘CiTi’ decals along the sides and across the rear hatch. Extra equipment also includes an alarm, cruise control, front electric windows as well as front fog lights.

Best-selling passenger car
The Polo Vivo was introduced in 2010, and has been the best-selling passenger car in South Africa for the past six years, with 229,300 hatchback and saloon models finding homes. In 2016 alone, 28,830 Polo Vivos were delivered to customers, and the car has the best resale value in its class. The Citi Golf’s popularity meanwhile was in part gained from the quirky and humorous television and print adverts that told a uniquely South Africa story.

‘There is no better way to celebrate the success of the Polo Vivo as the best-selling passenger car in South Africa than to pay homage to its iconic predecessor, Citi Golf. The three colours of Red, Yellow and Blue are synonymous with the Citi Golf and it was fitting for us to use them as the only colours for Citi Vivo,’ said Stefan Mecha, Director, Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen Group South Africa.

The Citi Vivo is available to order now and costs R177,300. For more information, visit the Volkswagen South Africa website.

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24 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Wilks to run Polo RX Supercar in 2017 World Rallycross Championship

2017 Volkswagen Polo RX: Wilks

Hot on the heels of the announcement that second placed 2016 World Rallycross Championship driver Johan Kristoffersson and ex-World Rally Champion Petter Holberg are teaming up to contest the 2017 series in a pair of Polo RX Supercars, comes this week’s news that Britain’s Guy Wilks will also run a similar car.

Highly successful 2016 machine
Two-time British Rally Champion and ex-WRC driver Wilks will contest all 12 rounds of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship in a Polo RX Supercar, which just happens to be ‘Elsa’, Kristoffersson’s highly successful 2016 machine. Wilks has previous rallycross form, too, having competed in selected 2015 and 2016 rounds of the series.

The Englishman will be entered as an independent, supported by energy drink LOCO, whose branding will mean Wilks’ Polo should be easy to spot both on and off the track when the first round of the 2017 World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Barcelona, gets underway on 31 March at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

‘Something I’ve always wished for’
‘To get an opportunity to do a full World Championship is something I’ve always wished for,’ explained an elated Wilks. ‘To compete in a car that finished second last year adds pressure but it is the ingredient that can make it realistic for me mix it at the top, even though the bar in World RX is getting raised year on year.

‘I want to thank LOCO energy drink and Marc Blackburn for this opportunity – he saw me drive at Lydden and Loheac in 2015 and believed in me from the start. I’m going to give it absolutely everything and we want to put ourselves up against the best. There’s still a lot of work to do but 2017 is going to be an awesome journey!’ added the 36 year-old from County Durham.

‘A talent behind the wheel’
Paul Bellamy, World RX Managing Director for IMG, concluded: ‘Guy is very familiar with rallycross – he’s regularly commentated alongside Andrew Coley on our TV show. There’s no denying he’s a talent behind the wheel and proved this when he reached the final on his rallycross debut at Lydden Hill back in 2015.’

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15 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

A little more power, a little more obvious: the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI 230

This one slipped past us rather unnoticed. The latest Polo GTI ‘6C’ has attracted largely favourable reviews from both the press and owners, the 1.8-litre TSI-engined version of Volkswagen’s smallest sports hatchback having first appeared in 2015. With a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds and 189bhp, it is the most powerful series production Polo GTI to date. Or at least, until yesterday, we thought it was.

Power boost to 227bhp
It turns out there is an even hotter version of the legendary-badged Polo. Say ‘hello’ to the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230, which, as its name suggested, receives a power boost to 227bhp (230 PS). More surprisingly, it is an officially-sanctioned Volkswagen production product. Launched in April 2016, it is limited to Switzerland only. And, as restricted as its market availability is the number available: only a paltry – but rather neat – 230 examples are available to buy.

German tuner ABT has been roped in to help with upping the power to liberate an extra 38bhp over the standard Polo GTI, which sees the special edition make 265lb ft/360Nm of torque and romp on to a top speed of 149mph. The 0-62mph dash is now 0.2 seconds quicker, too, and thankfully – enthusiasts rejoice! – a six-speed manual is available alongside the seven-speed DSG transmission. Sadly, choice is rather more limited when it comes to the looks: the Polo GTI 230 is only available with five doors.

‘GTI 230’ decal badges
As befits a special edition go-faster model, ‘unique’ graphics tell other hot hatch fans what you are driving, with the Polo GTI 230 featuring carbon fibre door mirror caps, as well as a ‘GTI 230’ decal badge on the tailgate, and ‘GTI 230’ red and carbon-coloured foils on the door bottoms, front bumper upright sections and the bonnet. While they are more on the tasteful side, if you’re really a restrained type of driver, they may still be a little too much.

Standard equipment is upped on the regular Polo GTI, too. The ‘Sport Select’ package (amplified cabin sound, enhanced accelerator and steering response, and adjustable suspension), ‘Composition Media’ (with Bluetooth/DAB+ and App-Connect) infotainment system, electrically-folding door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, front central armrest, LED headlights, Volkswagen ‘Plug & Play’ subwoofer-fed 300W sound system, and a winter package all feature on the GTI 230.

‘Motorsport’ alloy rims
Perhaps more excitingly, although the Polo GTI 230 comes with the same 17-inch ‘Parabolica’ black and diamond-cut finish alloy wheels as the standard car, a set of black 10-spoke ‘Motorsport’ rims are also thrown in, complete with winter tyres and snow chains to deal with the sometimes harsh Swiss seasons. Optional kit on offer is the same as the regular Polo GTI, and includes a panoramic sunroof and leather or alcantara-trimmed seats.

How much for all this limited number, souped-up Polo GTI? CHF 29,100 to you sir or madam, around £23,251 at today’s exchange rates. A ‘customer benefit’ (yep, us too, no idea) of CHF 5,000 is available but with that not included, the Polo GTI 230 costs around £2,000 more than its standard 189bhp sister. Not that all that matters, as it’s all academic anyway: unless you’re in Switzerland, you can’t buy one.

Will the Polo GTI 230 sell? It still appears on the Volkswagen Switzerland website, so we’re guessing it hasn’t sold out already. The Swiss do have form, though, when it comes to special Polo GTI models: the 100-unit run GTI Carbon Edition of 2012 was even more limited. So it seems, in Switzerland at least, there is clearly a market for a slightly more obvious example of a not-usually-obvious German hot hatchback…

Want to find out more about the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230? Download a brochure here.

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09 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

FIA prohibits complete homologation of 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

It’s now official. This week, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) ruled that the 2017-specification Volkswagen Polo R WRC will not be eligible to compete in any of the events in the 2017 World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar.

Missed deadline
The ruling was given by officials on Tuesday 7 February, after consulting with other manufacturer teams in the series. The 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC was close to homologation completion, but missed the 1 January deadline, reports Autosport.

Volkswagen Motorsport had planned to offer the completely homologated car to private teams in this year’s WRC. Almost all the necessary homologation work had been completed by the German outfit, with hopes that the 2017-spec machine would be allowed through on a waiver.

However, after several discussions, that now will not happen. 

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets, told wrc.com: ‘Following customer enquiries, Volkswagen Motorsport asked the FIA for a waiver of the homologation of the 2017 Volkswagen Polo World Rally Car, with the purpose being to rent it out to private drivers and teams.

‘Constructive discussions’
‘It now turns out that this is not possible under the current WRC regulations. We fully accept the result, but at the same time regret it in the interests of our customers. We would like to thank the FIA for the very constructive discussions.’

Plans to offer private customers and teams the ex-championship winning 2016-specification Volkswagen Polo R WRC are still underway. Volkswagen Motorsport surprisingly pulled the plug on its World Rally Championship team in November 2016 after four seasons of domination.

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