29 January 2014 ~ 3 Comments

Volkswagen announces Polo range refresh – new engines and technology

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The rumours have become more intense over the past few months, but now, finally, the new Polo is here. As expected, and in true Volkswagen tradition, the looks haven’t been altered much. The front bumper now sports new character lines and chrome trim added to the front, while reprofiled bumpers feature at the rear.

There are new light graphics, and LED headlights can now be specified, a class first. A fresh palette of new colours add the finishing touch, along with a new collection of alloy wheel designs.

The Polo has long taken cues from big brother Golf and the refreshed Mk 5 is no different. The interior features a new touchscreen modular infotainment system in the centre console with proximity sensor, just like the Golf.

The centre console has added colour, too, with some models enjoying a silver finish as seen on the limited-run Polo R WRC road car. There’s a new Golf-like three-spoke steering wheel, too, along with refreshed heating and ventilation controls.

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If the interior has touches of Golf, the array of technical developments also have echoes of VW’s mid-size hatchback. An Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Driver Alert System, City Emergency Braking technology and radar-operated Automatic Cruise Control are all part of the new Polo’s make-up.

A new Sport Select switchable suspension will make its debut on a Polo, too, and together with a new electro-mechanical steering system promise improved dynamics. Volkswagen says that its ‘democratising technology’ and if that sounds familiar, the German company heralded it was ‘democratising luxury’ back in 2000.

The big news is what powers the new Polo. A brace of EU6-compliant engines nestle beneath the new VW supermini’s bonnet. Volkswagen promises improved fuel efficiencies of up to 21 per cent with the new powertrains which start with a pair of three-cylinder 1.0-litre units. Developing 59 or 74bhp, they replace the ageing 1.2s, while new TSI units of the same capacity produce either 89 or 109bhp.

Further up the Polo ladder, the BlueGT has a 10bhp power boost to 148bhp. A new 189bhp Polo GTI will arrive later, which, we’re informed, will have the option of a manual gearbox, a feature the 6R GTI has so far been denied.

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Diesel lovers a catered for by a pair of new 1.4 TDIs. With outputs of 74 and 89bhp, the three-cylinder units replace the previous 1.2 and 1.6-litre engines with the same outputs. The most startling news of all is that the UK Polo BlueMotion will now be a petrol model only.

Fitted with a new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the eco model will return 68.9mpg on the combined cycle, and will emit just 94g/km of CO2. The continent sees a new and improved 82g/km diesel BlueMotion introduced.

There’s no news yet on the recent prototyped ‘R’ model with a rumoured 248bhp, and Volkswagen has stayed away from the term ‘facelift’. That’s precisely what this new Polo is, though, but a thorough one at that. The new model will be available this summer in the UK, with order books opening in April. First deliveries are expected in late July.

Full prices will be announced nearer the on-sale date, although VW states it aims to sell the new Polo to a very similar, if not the same, price as the old one. We’re in Wolfsburg at the new Polo press launch so will bring you full details of the new car very soon. Check our Twitter feed for the latest coverage.

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