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31 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

The PoloDriver.com review of 2017

2017 was yet another busy year for the Volkswagen Polo. The launch and introduction of the all-new sixth-generation model has been the major news, and although there has been no Polo rally action in 2017, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTI has dominated the World Rallycross Championship in the hands of Johan Kristoffersson.

But, with a debut for the new Polo GTI R5 later in 2018, the stages look set for a Polo return to asphalt and gravel action. The Engen Volkswagen Cup in South Africa is due to run new-generation Polo GTIs, too, in 2018, so next year’s Polo motorsport activity is shaping up very nicely.

Right now, though, we round up the Polo’s biggest achievements in 2017. (Bold entries are illustrated by the picture above that particular month’s list of events.)

2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC


  • Al-Attiyah confirms no Polo R WRC in 2017 FIA World Rally Championship
  • PSRX and Volkswagen Sweden rallycross team confirmed
  • Polo Sound special edition launched in Germany
  • Indian-market Polo GTI wins Autocar India’s Performance Hatchback of the Year award
  • Polo is the tenth best-selling car in Europe (JATO).

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI 230


  • FIA prohibits complete homologation of 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC
  • Polo GTI 230 special edition for Switzerland
  • Guy Wilks confirmed for Polo RX in 2017 World Rallycross Championship
  • Polo-based VW Ameo wins Car India and Bike India’s ’Compact Sedan Of The Year’ award
  • Polo is the seventh best-selling car in the UK.

2017 Volkswagen Citi Vivo (South Africa)


  • Citi Vivo special edition launched in South Africa
  • 1,250,000th Polo production jubilee celebrated by Volkswagen South Africa
  • Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI R-Line launched in South Africa
  • PSRX Volkswagen Sweden reveals 2017 World Rallycross Polo GTI Supercar
  • Volkswagen Motorsport announces new Polo R5 rally car testing plans
  • Indian-market Polo GTI wins the Thrill of Driving Award at the Times Auto Awards
  • Polo-based VW Ameo wins the Compact Sedan of the Year at the Times Auto Awards
  • Polo is the seventh best-selling car in the UK.

2017 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTI Supercar, World RX of Barcelona: Kristoffersson


  • PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTIs show pace at World RX of Barcelona
  • Kristoffersson drives Polo GTI Supercar to World RX of Portugal podium
  • Volkswagen India launches limited edition Polo GT Sport
  • Indian-market Polo GTI wins Flywheel Auto Awards’ 2017 Performance Hatchback of the Year award
  • Indian-market Polo GTI wins BBC Top Gear Awards’ 2017 Hot Hatch of the Year award
  • Polo is the ninth best-selling car in the UK.

2018 Volkswagen Polo prototype


  • Fifth-generation Polo-based Volkswagen Vento Allstar and GT launched in Malaysia
  • World RX of Hockenheim podium place for Kristoffersson and Polo GTI
  • PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo GTIs dominate World RX of Belgium with double podium
  • Sixth-generation Polo prototype drives and ‘sneak peek’ video published
  • Solberg and Kristoffersson do the double at World RX of Great Britain
  • Polo is the fifth best-selling car in the UK.

2017 Volkswagen Polo world premiere


  • Volkswagen launches sixth-generation Polo ‘teaser’ video campaign
  • Johan Kristoffersson takes second 2017 World RX victory in Norway
  • First images of new Polo revealed ahead of 16 June world premiere
  • New sixth-generation Polo unveiled at Berlin world premiere event on 16 June
  • Polo is the eighth best-selling car in the UK.

> Read More

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24 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Falken Tyres for sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo

2017 Volkswagen Polo Falken tyre range

With the sixth-generation Polo about to hit UK roads, Falken Tyres has been selected as an official tyre supplier for the new car. The German manufacturer will supply VW factories with its premium Azenis FK453, Sincera 832A Ecorun, and Ziex ZE914A Ecorun offerings, as well as its winter Eurowinter HS449 fitment.

The high-performance Azenis FK453 has particularly impressed in independent testing, with motoring magazine Auto Zeitung praising the 225/50 size. The tyre was ‘Highly Recommended’ by the publication for its top performance in agility, braking and high speed in wet conditions on the test circuit.

Cutting-edge technology
The Sincera 832A Ecorun meanwhile was developed using the latest cutting-edge technology (the 4D-Nano Design simulation system was used in developing the tread compound) and was also highly praised by independent testers. The Ziex ZE914A Ecorun is also a multiple award-winner, rated ‘Good’ for size 185/60R15 84H from testers at Auto Bild magazine and ‘Recommended’ for size 215/60′ from the Auto Motor und Sport title.

Finally, the Eurowinter HS449 has received three ‘Recommended’ ratings. The Austrian Automobile, Motorcycle and Touring Club (ÖAMTC) and the Swiss Touring Club (TCS) tested the 165/70R14 81T tyre and praised its handling in dry and icy conditions as well as its fuel economy. A further ‘Recommended’ commendation was also awarded by the testers at Auto Bild.

All of the tyres are produced at the SRI plant in Thailand, one of the largest and most modern tyre plants in the world, and Falken will supply the following sizes: Azenis FK453 – 215/45′ 91Wn; Sincera 832A Ecorun – 185/70R14 88H, 185/65R15 88H and 185/65R15 88H; Ziex ZE914A Ecorun – 195/55R16 91V; and Eurowinter HS449 – 185/65R15 88T.

Christian Stolting, Key Account Manager OE at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH, said: ‘The range and attributes of our tyres complement the broad requirements of the VW Polo. From tyres for drivers seeking a sporting ride through to tyres for drivers whose priorities are energy efficiency and mileage, we will deliver tyres to suit every application.’

‘Consistent high performance’
‘We offer an extensive portfolio of tyres that regularly convince independent testing organisations as well as being praised by drivers themselves and we are delighted to hear that this has been underlined by Volkswagen. We see the decision as confirmation of our consistent high performance in both development and production,’ he continued.

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06 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

More powerful 1.0 engines and SEL trim expand new UK Volkswagen Polo range

2017 Volkswagen Polo R-Line

We previously reported that the UK order books for the brand-new sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo opened on 3 October, with a limited range of three trim and two 1.0-litre engine options. Today, Volkswagen UK announced a further two engine choices, in addition to a further, range-topping SEL trim level.

The new options start at £15,060 for the normally-aspirated 1.0-litre 74bhp SE, while the same model in Beats trim is priced at £16,110 ‘on the road’ (OTR). The most powerful 1.0-litre petrol unit with 113bhp is available in SEL trim starting at £18,180 OTR with a six-speed manual gearbox, rising to £19,530 with a seven-speed automatic DSG transmission.

Polo SELs sit at the top of the ‘non-sporting’ new Polo family tree and offer 16-inch ‘Las Minas’ alloy wheels, chrome interior accents and LED lighting, front fog lights with static cornering function, front sports seats, and an eight-inch Discover Navigation colour infotainment system over SE models.

2017 Volkswagen Polo R-Line

Seven-model Polo family
The sixth-generation Polo is available from £13,855 OTR, and the range will eventually expand to feature a seven-model family, including a 197bhp GTI and an enhanced-specification GTI+ trim. Prices and availability for the R-Line, GTI, GTI+ and the 1.6-litre TDI cars have yet to be released.

Entry-level S cars include air conditioning, auto headlights with LED daytime running lights, eight-inch ‘Composition Media’ infotainment system and Front Assist with pedestrian monitoring system. SE cars gain 15-inch ‘Sassari’ alloy wheels, the ‘Car-Net App Connect’ smartphone connectivity system, and a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel.

Similar to its fifth-generation predecessor, the new Polo Beats gets a 300-watt sound system as standard, as well as ‘Beats’ bonnet and roof decals, 16-inch ‘Torsby’ alloy wheels, front fog lights, front and rear carpet mats, a ‘Red Velvet’ dash pad, and 65 per cent-tinted windows from the B-pillar back. Sporty R-Line Polos are fitted with 16-inch ‘Sebring’ alloy wheels, LED rear lights, an R-Line body kit (front and rear bumpers with gloss black rear spoiler), and stainless steel pedals.

GTI models meanwhile boast 17-inch ‘Parker’ alloy wheels (the same design as the latest Golf GTI), red brake calipers, 15mm lower sports suspension, and Volkswagen’s XDS electronic differential. Finally, GTI+ models gain the Active Info Display digital instruments (optional on other new Polos), adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, Light & Sight pack, and keyless entry with start-stop button.

2017 Volkswagen Polo R-Line

Standard-setting trends
The new Polo continues the standard-setting trends of its predecessors. Class firsts include the debut of Volkswagen’s second-generation ‘Active Info Display’ digital instruments, as well as a new level of assistance systems in the small car sector. These include Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, City Emergency Braking, and Pedestrian Monitoring technologies.

All new Polos also have a stop-start system and regenerative braking, while cars with an output of 94bhp or more can be ordered with a six or seven-speed DSG gearbox as an option to the standard five or six-speed manual gearbox. For more details on the all-new Polo, together with brochures and pricing of the versions available – and to use Volkswagen’s online configurator – visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.


1.0 64bhp, 110g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £13,855

1.0 64bhp, 108g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £14,630
1.0 74bhp, 108g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,060
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 101g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,930
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 105g/km*, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: £17,280

1.0 64bhp, 110g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £15,680
1.0 74bhp, 110g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £16,110
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 103g/km*, five-speed manual, 5dr: £16,980
1.0 TSI 94bhp, 107g/km*, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: £18,330

1.0 TSI 113bhp, 107g/km*, six-speed manual, 5dr: £18,180
1.0 TSI 113bhp, 109g/km*, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: £19,530

*Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are obtained under standardised EU test conditions (Directive 93/116/EEC). This allows a direct comparison between different manufacturer models but may not represent the actual fuel consumption achieved in ‘real world’ driving conditions. More information is available on the Volkswagen website at www.volkswagen.co.uk and at www.dft.gov.uk/vca

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04 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

‘The rally sports car’: 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 rally car officially revealed

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

In somewhat of a surprise reveal (although we should have seen it coming), the new Polo GTI R5 rally car was unveiled tonight in Mallorca, at the official media driving presentation of the new production Polo GTI. The new motorsport version of the sixth-generation Polo has already been out testing and has been designed to compete in the WRC2 class of the FIA World Rally Championship from the second half of 2018.

While the car seen in the official release images is a mock-up (the black-tinted windows were a trick employed at the 2011 Polo R WRC reveal to mask a non-finished interior) Resplendent in Volkswagen’s red, white and grey ‘bar and block’ livery used on to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Golf GTI last year, the GTI R5 looks ready for action, and even though it wears the five-door clothes of the production car (all sixth-generation Polos have five door openings), with its enlarged front bumper and wheel arch extensions, it looks tough in a similar way to the four-time world championship-winning Polo R WRC.

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

1.6 litres, 272bhp, four-wheel drive
Power has been confirmed at 272bhp, and the GTI R5 is four-wheel drive, unlike the road car, which is front-wheel drive only. But, like the road car, the GTI R5 uses a four-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection. However, in the R5, it has a capacity of 1.6 litres – the production GTI has a 2.0-litre unit – to comply with FIA regulations.

Maximum torque is 400Nm / 295lb ft, and the power is put down through a five-speed sequential racing gearbox. A 1,320kg weight means the GTI R5 sprints to 62mph from rest in just 4.1 seconds, a whole 2.6 seconds faster than the production Polo GTI. The steel body is made in Pamplona alongside regular Polos, and is strengthened with a roll cage and a first-class safety package. Development of the new Volkswagen rally challenger was helped by the know-how from the Polo R WRC programme, which resulted in a car which dominated top-flight rallying from 2013-2016.

Work on the Polo GTI R5 started at the beginning of 2017, with initial tests in mid-November on asphalt and gravel tracks at Fontjoncouse, France. Great Britain is next on the GTI R5 testing list, with time scheduled in for later this month. Volkswagen Motorsport Technical Director François-Xavier ‘FX’ Demaison and Project Manager Jan de Jongh are taking the reins for the GTI R5 programme. There’s no doubt the GTI R5 is in experienced hands: Jongh, as race engineer, cared for world champion Sébastien Ogier’s Polo R WRC.

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

‘A magnificent moment’
‘The Polo GTI R5 came through the initial tests without any problems. The feedback from the test drivers was very positive,’ said Demaison. ‘It is obviously beneficial to call upon an experienced team of engineers and mechanics, who helped to develop the Polo that won the world rally championship. And it goes without saying that, as we have in the past, we are also taking advantage of the close and excellent cooperation with the colleagues in the technical development department in Wolfsburg, as well as our Škoda colleagues, who have been offering their customers an R5 car since 2015,’ he continued.

‘Presenting the new VW Polo GTI R5 to the public was a magnificent moment,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. ‘The close relationship to the road-going Polo GTI is unmistakable. In the rally Polo, the GTI family has another spectacular ambassador. Our team and our colleagues at Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg deserve credit for this. Over the coming months, the Polo GTI R5 must prove itself in a series of tough scenarios, in order to ensure that it can build on the success of its predecessor in customers’ hands.’

Homologation and debut in 2018
Homologation of the new Hanover motorsport machine will take place next summer, before the first cars are delivered to customer sports teams. The first time the GTI R5 will turn a wheel in competitive anger is likely to be the autumn. The FIA’s R5 regulations first applied in 2012, and cover rally cars aimed at customer teams, privateers and young drivers. Over 400 cars have since been built by five manufacturers for competition in national and international series all over the world.

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

The new Polo GTI meanwhile, is available for pre-sale ordering in Germany from 5 December 2017, and is priced from 23,875 euros. Powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine with 197bhp, standard sport running gear features on the latest member of the GTI family, and buyers have a choice of optional Sport Select running gear, too. A six-speed DSG gearbox will be standard initially, with a six-speed manual to follow. UK availability is yet to be revealed, but we’re already excited!

And whether the Polo GTI R5 will continue the success of the Polo R WRC we’ve yet to find out. The coming months will answer some initial questions, but with a championship-winning and hugely successful team as well as proven ingredients behind it, we expect it to be a major WRC2 player at least…

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28 November 2017 ~ 0 Comments

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 breaks cover in first test

2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

The latest Polo rally car has officially broken cover, and has undergone its first testing session in France. The 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 was driven by Volkswagen Motorsport test driver Dieter Depping and Swedish World Rally Champion pilot Pontus Tidemand around a 3.85km asphalt route in Fontjoncouse.

Based on the new sixth-generation Polo, the Polo GTI R5’s brakes, cooling system, engine and tyres were all tested for durability on the dry asphalt surface. Testing then moved to gravel tracks to further push the chassis and suspension. The testing location was familiar to rally Polos, as the venue was where the first Polo R WRC tests took place in 2011. The recipe was honed from then on: Volkswagen Motorsport’s all-conquering car went on to win four consecutive World Rally Championship titles from 2013 to 2016.

‘A special feeling’
Depping was the test driver of that original Polo R WRC, too: ‘It is a special feeling to be back here, where the Polo embarked on its first rally adventure roughly six years ago,’ he said. ‘It is now about achieving the best possible set-up for the new Polo GTI R5. This first test was primarily about getting a lot of kilometres under our belt, in order to give the engineers as much data as possible. I can tell you one thing now: The R5 Polo is also very good, very quick and precise. I immediately felt right at home!” he added.

‘A successful first test is a good sign and great motivation,’ commented a pleased Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. ‘After the many hours and weeks spent working on our latest customer racing project on the computer, in both the design process and the workshop, the Polo GTI R5 can now finally show what it is capable of, and we can gain valuable data for the further development of the car.’

Three-day test
The three-day testing programme marked the start of the punishing development regime for the latest 270bhp four-wheel-drive rally Polo, which will be sold to professional customer teams and drivers to compete in national, global and the WRC2 class of the FIA World Rally Championship from the second half of 2018.

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