31 December 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The PoloDriver.com review of 2018

2018 was yet another busy year for the Volkswagen Polo. The launch and introduction of the all-new sixth-generation model into the UK and the debut of the Polo GTI R5 rally car have been the biggest happenings, while, yet again, the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R has dominated the World Rallycross Championship in the hands of Johan Kristoffersson.

Historically featuring the current Polo, the South African Engen Volkswagen Cup also starred new sixth-generation Polo GTI racing cars, and while PSRX Volkswagen Sweden has bowed out of the World Rallycross Championship series for 2019, team boss and ex-rally champ Petter Solberg has promised there will be some action. Whether that turns out to be Polo-based or not, we’ve yet to find out.

Right now, though, we round up the Polo’s biggest achievements in 2018. (Bold entries are illustrated by the picture above that particular month’s list of events.)

2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTI

January

  • Sixth-generation Polo launched in South Africa
  • Polo Vivo named the most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo is the fourth most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Fifteen orders confirmed for new Polo GTI R5 rally car as Petter Solberg tests the car in Sweden
  • New Polo GTI chosen as basis for 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup circuit racer.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT

February

  • Sixth-generation Polo launched in Australia from $17,990
  • New-generation Polo Vivo launched in South Africa
  • Sixth-generation Polo named the most popular passenger car in South Africa.
  • Polo Vivo is the second most popular passenger car in South Africa.

2018 PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R

March

  • Polo claims Car South Africa magazine’s ‘Top 12 Best Buys 2018 – Small Hatchback’ award (Polo Vivo and Mazda 2 runners-up)
  • Polo named as ‘Best Car 2018 – Sub-Compact Cars’ by Auto Motor und Sport
  • Volkswagen India replaces Polo 1.2 with Polo 1.0 MPI
  • Indian-market limited edition Polo Pace launched
  • Polo Vivo is the most popular passenger car in South Africa for Q1 2018 with 7,027 units sold
  • Polo is the second most popular passenger car in South Africa for Q1 2018 with 6,610 units sold
  • Polo Vivo named the most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo is the second most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo announced as the World Urban Car 2018 winner
  • 2018 World Rallycross Championship Volkswagen Polo R Supercar revealed
  • Jeffrey Kruger wins race one of the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup at Kyalami.

2018 Volkswagen Vento Sport

April

  • Volkswagen Connect DataPlug and smartphone app-based connectivity system now standard on new Polo
  • Polo named ‘Safe Car of the Year’ at inaugural FirstCar Awards
  • 140bhp Polo VRS 1.2 TSI launched at 2018 Indonesia International Motor Show
  • Volkswagen India launches the Vento Sport
  • Polo Vivo is the most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo named the second most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo is the fifth most popular car in the UK
  • Volkswagen Motorsport announces Polo GTI R5 set for competitive debut at 2018 Rally Spain
  • Johan Kristoffersson and PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo R Supercar wins World RX of Barcelona; Petter Solberg fifth
  • Johan Kristoffersson and PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo R Supercar wins World RX of Portugal; Petter Solberg third
  • Jeffrey Kruger wins races two and three of the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup at Killarney.

2018 Volkswagen Polo SEL (UK)

May

  • Rear seat belt safety issue found on sixth-generation Polo models
  • Polo is the most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo Vivo named the second most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo is the fifth most popular car in the UK
  • Petter Solberg and PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo R Supercar finish second at World RX of Belgium; Johan Kristoffersson fifth
  • Johan Kristoffersson and PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo R Supercar wins World RX of Great Britain; Petter Solberg seventh
  • Tasmin Pepper wins races four and five of the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup at Zwartkops.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Maxx

June

  • New South African-only Volkswagen Polo Vivo Maxx revealed
  • Volkswagen South Africa launches new Polo GTI from R375,900
  • Polo Vivo is the most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo named the second most popular passenger car in South Africa
  • Polo is the fifth most popular car in the UK
  • Johan Kristoffersson and PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo R Supercar wins World RX of Norway
  • Johan Kristoffersson and PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo R Supercar wins World RX of Sweden
  • Jonathan Mogotsi wins races six and seven of the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup at East London.

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25 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

New Polo GTI chosen as basis for 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup circuit racer

2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTI

On the same day the sixth-generation model is launched in South Africa, today the wraps have been taken off the latest racing Volkswagen Polo which will contest the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup. The first circuit racing version of the all-new Polo, the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup car is based on the GTI model, which will arrive in South Africa later this year.

‘Push to Pass’ system
Carrying the same ‘Beware the Confidence’ tagline as the standard car’s launch materials, the Engen Volkswagen Cup GTI has a 2.0-litre, 197bhp four-cylinder turbocharged engine which produces 251lb ft / 340Nm of torque at 1 bar of boost. There is also a new ‘Push to Pass’ system which releases another 23bhp for 10 seconds, similar to that seen on the 2012 Scirocco R-Cup cars.

In a difference to the intial batch of European road cars, the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTIs have a six-speed manual ‘MQ350’ gearbox, taken from the latest Golf GTI. Locally-sourced SAX shock absorbers sit suspend the standard Polo’s five-door body, while the car sits on coil springs front and rear, and rides on Dunlop semi-slick tyres.

2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTI

‘Most successful racing formula’
Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa said: ‘Volkswagen Motorsport would like to thank Engen for their on-going sponsorship and commitment to what we see as South Africa’s most successful racing formula as well as the competitors who have the confidence in the series to make the change to the all-new car.’

Those 24 competitors will contest a total of eight rounds in 2018, the 22nd year the Polo-based Engen Volkswagen Cup has been run. ‘We are very excited for the start of the 2018 racing season,’ continued Mike Rowe. ‘I am sure that all the Engen Volkswagen Cup competitors are raring to go.’

‘The series, which has become known as the School of Champions, is a special one in South Africa and has crowned a total of 16 different national champions. It also an immensely competitive one as only five people have managed to win it more than once,’ he added.

2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTI

GTI badge debut
The closely-fought Engen Volkswagen Cup series is a one-make series where performance is kept equal to provide entertaining motor racing. Teams are only permitted to adjust the chassis set-up and tyre pressures, while the engine power is also limited. The 2018 season sees the ‘GTI’ badge make its debut on a South African Polo Cup racer in the series’ two-decade history.

The 2018 South African circuit racing season starts on 24 March, when a comprehensive field of more than 24 young Polo drivers aged 15 to 27 line up for the start of the 2018 Engen Polo Cup at the Kyalami race track in Johannesburg.

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