It’s under the skin where the new Polo differs most from the outgoing 6R model. New EU-6 emission law-compliant engines are up to 21 per cent more fuel-efficient than the units they replace.
Four petrol engines are available from launch, starting with a pair of new 999cc three-cylinder units developing 59 and 74bhp. These replace the 1.2s of the outgoing car which developed the same output. From there, two new four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI engines develop 89 and 108bhp.
Later in the year, an all-new 1.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged TSI engine will be introduced, and a petrol-powered Polo BlueMotion TSI will replace the current Polo BlueMotion TDI in the UK which will be dropped.
Developing 89bhp and a mere 94g/km of CO2, it is capable of a quoted 68.9mpg on the combined cycle. It will be the first time a Polo BlueMotion has had a petrol engine. Sales of the outgoing car averaged less than 3 per cent of all Polos sold, so Volkswagen is trying a different tack with the new version.
BlueMotion Technology models meanwhile have Stop/Start systems and a regenerative braking mode. All are hooked up to five-speed manual gearboxes, while the 109bhp model comes with an extra ratio.
A revised Polo BlueGT model is also on the way, and will feature an uprated version of the current car’s 138bhp 1.4-litre TSI engine with cylinder deactivation technology. Shutting off two cylinders under low engine loads and speeds, the new car will have a extra 10bhp.
Further down the line towards the end of 2014, a revised GTI will also appear. This will have a 13bhp power boost to 189bhp and will be offered with both a six-speed manual gearbox as well as a seven-speed DSG automatic.
There hasn’t been a manual Polo GTI since the 9N3 car of 2006-2009. After that, a high-performance Polo R may make an appearance, with four-wheel drive and around 250bhp.
Three TDI diesel engines replace the 74bhp 1.2 and 89bhp 1.6-litre models in the outgoing range. All have three cylinders and direct injection, and while the lower and middle output units will be available from launch and displace the same amount of power, a 104bhp version will follow, but not to the UK.
Also not for the UK, the 74bhp Polo BlueMotion TDI will be one of the lowest CO2-emitting cars available, recording only 82g/km, down 6g/km. Even the Polo TDI with 89bhp and DSG is relatively clean at 89g/km, a 13g/km CO2 reduction.
The last additions to the new Polo engine family are likely to be a compress natural gas (CNG) unit and a hybrid plug-in powerplant. At the world premiere unveiling, details of these two alternative-fuel powertrains were kept under wraps, with only graphics representing them and their names – ‘TGI’ for the CNG version, and ‘TwinDrive’ for the hybrid – displayed.
Compressed natural gas versions of other VWs are already sold on the continent (as well as a BiFuel Polo) and TGI versions of the latest Golf have already been developed.
Volkswagen recently announced a concept version of a TwinDrive Golf called GTE, powered by a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 107bhp electric motor, and also the TwinUp, which uses similar technology. The company also states that TwinDrive models can use both petrol and diesel engines, with the Polo likely being powered by a petrol hybrid system.