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06 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Gimme five: Volkswagen Polo stays in top half of UK’s most popular cars list

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI (UK)

Becoming very predictable, and just as the first batch of new GTIs arrive in VW retailers, the Volkswagen Polo was again the fifth most popular car in the UK last month according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). A total of 5,494 Polos found homes in June. That was enough to see it rise two places to seventh in the year-to-date list. The Ford Fiesta once again topped the list, with an 8,900 registrations tally.

Volkswagen’s best-selling Golf was second with 6,873 units, and with 39,930 cars registered, it stays in second place for the year-to-date. Here, too, though, in a familiar story, the Ford Fiesta leads the charge with 56,415 examples registered since January. With 3,527 registrations, Volkswagen’s Tiguan also crept into the top 10 chart, earning it a ninth place. In a reversal of May, the UK market as a whole declined 3.5 per cent in June when compared to the same month in 2017, with 234,945 cars registered. Small cars like the Polo remained the most popular, the supermini and lower medium models taking a 57.4 per cent market share.

Other figures to note are those of hybrids and plug-in hybrid cars which rose 45 per cent (15,549 units), to take a record 6.6 per cent market share. Diesels fell by 28.2 per cent from June 2017, while the petrol-engined car tally saw a rise of 12.3 per cent. The UK’s top 10 most popular cars during June 2018 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 8,900 (56,415, 1st)
2 Volkswagen Golf: 6,873 (39,930, 2nd)
3 Vauxhall Corsa: 6,076 (28,003, 5th)
4 Mini: 5,839 (23,641, 6th)
5 Volkswagen Polo: 5,494 (22,027, 7th)
6 Ford Focus: 4,840 (30,757, 3rd)
7 BMW 3 Series: 4,002
8 Nissan Qashqai: 3,939 (30,066, 4th)
9 Volkswagen Tiguan: 3,527
10 BMW 1 Series: 3,383

(The UK’s 2018 year-to-date top 10 most popular cars absent from June’s registration figures were the eighth-placed Ford Kuga, the ninth-placed Mercedes-Benz A Class, and the tenth-placed Mercedes-Benz C Class with 21,784, 20,002, and 19,684 registrations respectively.)

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT

In South Africa, the sixth-generation Polo was second to the fifth-generation Polo-based Polo Vivo as the best-selling passenger car during June 2018. A total of 1,844 new Polos found homes in the country where it is also built, compared to 2,285 Polo Vivos. The Polo Vivo has been consistently top of the registrations chart since its introduction in 2010. According to figures by Jato Dynamics, the Polo was the second most popular supermini in Europe in 2017 with 272,061 units registered. The Clio took the top spot, with 327,395 small Renaults finding new homes.

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05 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

2001-2009 Polo adjustable front wishbone bushes now available from Powerflex

Powerflex PFF85-201G Black Series front wishbone front bush with camber adjustment

Long-standing suspension bush tuning company Powerflex has announced details of a pair of geometry adjusting products for the Volkswagen Group PQ24 platform, which includes the fourth-generation ‘9N’ and ‘9N3’ Polo models, built from autumn 2001 to spring 2009.

The front wishbone front bush with camber adjustment (PFF85-201G) costs from £45.54 each, while the front wishbone rear bush with caster offset (PFF85-602G) is priced from £65.94 each. Manufactured by the company which produces the number one selling performance bushes in Europe, prices include VAT and both are available now to order online at www.powerflex.co.uk.

In-built camber adjustment
The front wishbone front bush has in-built camber adjustment, and the 30mm diameter bushing permits +/- 0.5 degrees of camber adjustment thanks to its offset bore, which can be easily rotated using the bespoke tooling (supplied). This gives a greater degree of control over the car’s geometry settings, while the bush’s knurled end prevents unwanted sleeve rotation and enables camber settings to be ‘fixed’ once the optimal position has been achieved.

In-built caster adjustment
Powerflex’s front wishbone rear bush with in-built caster adjustment is even more impressive. Engineering a bushing able to offer +1 degree of caster proved challenging for the Powerflex research and development team, but the resulting product comprises a low friction polyurethane centre bush, housed within a specially-created, hard-anodised aluminium outer shell.

This is proven to promote the optimum relationship between bushing and aluminium shell, with the low friction rotating bush serving to reduce the forces acting on the arm itself. The lower arm deflection has been decreased by reducing the compliant material within the aluminium shell, effectively allowing for improved in-corner camber, without compromising straight line traction.

Lifetime warranty
Powerflex’s signature polyurethane is the material from which the latest bushes are made. As it has a proven ability to withstand the immense forces, temperatures and conditions which are part and parcel of a hard-working automotive chassis, the PQ24 bushes benefit from Powerflex’s lifetime warranty. As well as the standard kits, Powerflex also offers the PQ24 chassis products in its Black Series range, which are tailored for use with track day and competition cars, and boast a stiffer construction.

Also compatible with the 1999 to 2005 Audi A2 (1999-2005), the 2002 to 2009 SEAT Cordoba ‘6L’ and 2002 to 2008 SEAT Ibiza ‘6L’, 2000 to 2007 Skoda Fabia (2002-2008), as well as the 2205 to 2011 Volkswagen Fox, visit the Powerflex website for more information.

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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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