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07 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Polo is eighth most popular car in the UK as Volkswagen’s market share rises

2019 Volkswagen Polo R-Line (UK)

The Volkswagen Polo has continued its popularity in the UK and was the eighth most popular car during March 2019. According to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 8,614 Polos were registered in March, and the small VW currently stands at seventh in the 2049 year-to-date chart.

Third-placed Golf

The Polo’s bigger brother, the Golf, was in third place for both March and the year-to-date tallies. The Ford Fiesta once again tops with run-downs, with the Vauxhall Corsa second in both sets of figures. Accordingly, the Polo is the third most popular supermini in the UK as it enters its 45th year on sale (the original first-generation Polo was unveiled in March 1975).

Overall, UK registrations declined 3.4 per cent despite the first registration plate change of the year, the slump partly attributed to diesel and Brexit ‘uncertainty’. However, it wasn’t all bad news, as superminis like the Polo continued to be Britain’s favourite vehicle type and saw a 4.4 per cent increase in demand, taking a third of all registrations. Volkswagen’s market share grew 1.3 per cent on the same month last year, and the German company now has a 8.37 per cent share of the UK market.

‘Sales success’

Patrick McGillycuddy, Head of Sales for Volkswagen in the UK said: ‘While it’s pleasing for us to see Golf and Polo performing so well and appealing to UK buyers in their tens of thousands, the breadth of Volkswagen’s model range is also playing a big part in this sales success.

‘The T-Roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg SUV models, along with the Up city car and Touran and Sharan MPVs have all made an impact with UK buyers, while the growing appeal of models such as the e-Golf cannot be underestimated. This success comes even before the introduction of the practical T-Cross compact SUV, which will arrive in showrooms later this month.’

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

1 Ford Fiesta: 14,676 (23,474, 1st)

2 Vauxhall Corsa: 13,244 (17,647, 2nd)

3 Volkswagen Golf: 11,072 (17,412, 3rd)

4 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 10,805 (16,682, 5th)

5 Nissan Qashqai: 10,701 (16,420, 6th)

6 Ford Focus: 9,734 (16,668, 4th)

7 Mini: 8,896 (11,969, 8th)

8 Volkswagen Polo: 8,614 (13,089, 7th)

9 BMW 1 Series: 7,986

10 Toyota Yaris: 7,853 (11,400, 9th)

(The 2019 year-to-date top 10 most popular car absent from March 2019’s registration figures was the Ford Kuga with 10,805 units recorded.)

Polo Vivo tops South African chart

Continuing last month’s reversal of roles, the latest NAAMSA South African registration figures show that the Polo Vivo topped the country’s passenger car chart with 2,498 units. The sixth-generation Polo was in second place with 1,383 examples registered and the Toyota Corolla in third with 1,011 cars finding new homes.

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14 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Milltek Sport announces exhaust systems for latest Polo GTI

2019 Volkswagen Polo with Milltek Sport exhaust system

Milltek Sport has announced a fully EC-approved exhaust system for the latest Polo GTI. Starting at £561.42 plus VAT, the system fits from the gasoline particulate filter (GPF) back, which allows drivers to stay within the confines of warranty as well as legislation.

‘Subtle enhancement in tone’
Milltek Sport claims the new system looks set ‘to equip Volkswagen’s latest hot hatch with higher levels of both sonic and dynamic ability’, although also states that enthusiasts looking for a ‘subtle enhancement’ in tone will be best served by the fitment. It would appear (initially anyway) that the exhaust is in keeping with the nature of the car…

All Milltek Sport exhaust systems are designed and hand-finished from aerospace-quality, non-magnetic stainless steel in the company’s Derbyshire factory, using both robotic and more traditional artisanal techniques to create parts that look and sound like factory option components. Milltek’s extensive R&D on both road and dyno ensures that its new systems deliver a crisp, attractive note, without ever droning or resonating on long motorway drives.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI with Milltek Sport exhaust system

Sports cat and de-cat options
Once Milltek Sport’s road test programme is complete, sports catalyst and de-cat options will also be available. These will replace the OEM catalysts and GPF, and promise ‘dramatic improvements’ in flow rate as well as a useful aural enhancement says Milltek. More power is also stated to be unleashed!

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI Milltek Sport exhaust system

Five trim options will be available for owners to match, contrast or accentuate their tailpipes to suit the look of their Polo GTI. Based on the popular and stylish ‘GT90’ trim, the pipes come in a choice of brushed titanium, burnt titanium, carbon, cerakote black or polished. Plenty of Polo pipe personalisation options then!

For more details, visit the Milltek Sport website to see when each new configuration is launched.

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06 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Fifth in February: Volkswagen Polo climbs UK new car registrations chart

2017 Volkswagen Polo

In a repeat of January, the Volkswagen Polo was one of the most popular cars in the UK during February, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). With 1,512 Polos finding new homes, the small VW jumped three places to number five, the top supermini behind Ford’s Fiesta which again took the top spot. In the year-to-date list, the Polo rose two places to number six.

A 1.4 per cent rise

Overall, 3.399 units of the Ford Fiesta were registered in the UK during February, with its Focus relative maintaining its runner-up position with a figure of 2.537. The Polo’s ubiquitous sibling, the Golf, matched its year-to-date third place position with 2,410 registrations. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class was in fourth place, with a tally of 2,059.

Registrations in the UK actually rose 1.4 per cent compared to January, with a total of 81,969 new cars on the road. An uplift of 1,164 compared to the same period last year, with demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles up 34 per cent, the 22nd consecutive month of growth. Electric cars also enjoyed a rise in registrations, but the 731 cars still accounted for less than one per cent of the market.

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

1 Ford Fiesta: 3,399 (8,798, 1st)

2 Ford Focus: 2,537 (6,934, 2nd)

3 Volkswagen Golf: 2,410 (6,340, 3rd)

4 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 2,059 (5,827, 4th)

5 Volkswagen Polo: 1,512 (4,475, 6th)

6 Nissan Qashqai: 1,449 (5,719, 5th)

7 Ford Kuga: 1,402 (3,654, 9th)

8 Vauxhall Corsa: 1,306 (4,403, 7th)


9 Ford Ecosport: 1,292

10 Volkswagen Tiguan: 1,258

(The 2018 year-to-date top 10 most popular cars absent from February 2019’s registration figures were the Kia Sportage and Mercedes-Benz C-Class with 4,529 and 3,593 units recorded respectively.)

Role reversal

A reversal of recent roles occurred with South Africa’s February 2019 registration figures. The most recent NAAMSA data shows that the Polo Vivo topped the passenger car chart with 2,962 units, just one place behind the Toyota Hilux, which with 3,504 registrations, is the most popular vehicle in the country.

The latest sixth-generation Polo which has traditionally beaten the Vivo in recent months, was South Africa’s second most popular passenger car with 1,605 examples registered. As with January, the Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest secured third place with 1247 units.

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05 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Kruger and Shorter claim first 2019 Falken Polo Cup victories

2019 Falken Polo Cup: Jeffrey Kruger

The 2019 Falken Polo Cup got off to a scenic start on 2 March, as the first round of the newly-named South African racing Polo GTI championship swept onto the Dezzi Raceway near Port Shepstone on the south coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. All eyes were on 2018 champion Jeffrey Kruger, the last winner of the championship when it was in its Engen Polo Cup incarnation.

As it was, Kruger was first past the post in the first race, claiming the victory ahead of Jason Campos by more than six seconds. Another former Engen Polo Cup champion Chris Shorter returned to the series and crossed the finish in third, just three tenths of a second ahead of Stiaan Kriel. Bradley Liebenberg finished fifth, ahead of Volkswagen Motorsport’s Jonathan Mogotsi who recorded a sixth place finish.

Beautiful racing backdrop
Dezzi Raceway may well have provided a beautiful racing backdrop, but the grid of 25 Polo GTIs and their drivers had no time to admire the scenery. Humid weather gave way to rain just as qualifying started and as the cars run on Falken slicks in the dry, wet weather rubber was deemed more appropriate, and teams scrambled back to the pits to change to more suitable tyres. The fastest six drivers at the end of regular qualifying each get another single flying lap to try and influence the order of the starting grid. Times were close, but Liebenberg pipped Kruger to pole, followed by Jason Campos.

The twenty laps of action that followed had the Dezzi disciples on their feet, the Falken Polo Cup no different to the Engen Polo Cup in terms of thrilling spectacle and action. Liebenberg endured trouble negotiating the first corner and lost a number of positions, opening the door for Jeffrey Kruger and that was all the defending champion needed. With a clear track ahead, Kruger put in a series of consistent laps to build a comfortable lead of more than six seconds. Further down the field, Jurie Swart and Keegan Campos collided in a first corner incident that nearly saw the Polo of Swart roll over, while a spirited drive saw Liebenberg fight back up the field.

Shorter claims overall win
In the Falken Polo Cup, the top six qualifiers draw their starting positions for the second race, and this put the cat amongst the pigeons as once again the field were jockeying for positions during the first few corners. Some paint was definitely traded and there were a few moments that had members of the growd gasping for air, but after ten eventful laps it was former champion Shorter who saw the checkered flag first. He crossed the line ahead of Liebenberg, Kruger, Keegan Campos and Kriel. When the times from both races are added to reveal the overall winners for the day, Shorter went away with the overall victory ahead of Kruger.

Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa said: ‘It was an incredible weekend of racing. The series once again proved how popular it is with competitors and spectators alike and it also serves as proof of the level of talent we have in this country. It was also the first time that the new GTIs raced on the Dezzi circuit and together with the Falken slick racing tyres, the cars went faster around the 2.5 kilometres than ever before. If this opening weekend was anything to go by, we are all in for a very exciting and intense season.’

2019 Falken Polo Cup

The second round of the 2019 Falken Polo Cup will take place on 5-6 April at the Zwartkops Raceway to the west of Pretoria.

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04 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Lindholm and Korhonen take Polo GTI R5 to second place at Itärally

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Itärally, Lindholm/Korhonen

The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 continued its winning ways at Finland’s Itärally on 2 March. Driver Emil Lindholm and co-driver Mikael Korhonen claimed their second R5 class win in the 2019 Finnish Rally Championship, holding the overall lead for much of the event. The 10th win for the new Volkswagen Motorsport customer sports rally car, the third round of the series was held around Joensuu in east Finland.

The duo lost out to Takamoto Katusta and Daniel Barritt after six stages. The Japanese and Great British pairing finished only 0.8 seconds ahead in their Toyota Yaris WRC. Even though they weren’t victorious, Lindholm was pleased with his and Korhonen’s performance: ‘It was more important for us to get the class win, so I did not want to take any risks on the final few kilometres. There was a lot of snow on the roads and the conditions were extremely difficult.

‘I just wanted to avoid making any mistakes – I think that was the right decision. There is no shame in missing out to a WRC works car by such a small margin,’ he continued.

After three of seven rounds in this season’s Finnish Rally Championship, Lindholm is currently second in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. Victorious in the season-opening Arctic Lapland Rally, Lindholm missed the second event, as he was competing in Rally Sweden. The 2019 Finnish Rally Championship will now take a spring break, resuming with the Riihimäki Rally on 24-25 May.

Polo GTI R5 for Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak

Elsewhere, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak from Poland have committed to running a LOTOS Rally Team-branded Polo GTI R5 in the 2019 WRC 2 category of the World Rally Championship. Kajetanowicz, a 39-year-old, three-time European champion drove a handful of WRC 2 events during 2018, but will contest seven events this year.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak

His and Szczepaniak’s machine will be run by Raimund Baumschlager’s Baumschlager Rallye & Racing (BRR) of Austria, which has also announced a Polo GTI R5 for German rally champion Marijan Griebel. The Polo GTI R5 of Kajetanowicz / Szczepaniak will debut at Corsica Linea – Tour de Corse on 28-31 March; Grebel’s car will first appear a week earlier at the Portuguese Azores Rally on 21-23 March.

2019 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5: Rostek/Christian

In other news, Polo GTI R5 rally machines have also been confirmed for Vojtĕch Štajf (Czech Republic), Dennis Rostek and Frank Christian (Germany, BMA Autosport), Pedro Meireles and Mário Castro, as well as Gustavo Saba and Fernando Mussano (Paraguay) who debuted their car on the 2019 Tierra Colorada Rally at Misiones in Argentina.

All 50 Polo GTI R5 for 2019 have been sold

Volkswagen Motorsport has also confirmed that all 50 Polo GTI R5s the outfit will build in 2019 have been sold. Reported by motor.es, Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets told Rallye-Magazin: ‘We will build about 50 vehicles until the end of the year and they are all reserved. We are also in contact with our customers and we appreciate their comments to improve the car. It was clear that the Polo GTI R5 was very good on dry asphalt, but in wet conditions we can still improve.’




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