22 October 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Polos on parade at GTI Coming Home 2018 Wolfsburg meet

Volkswagen Polo R WRCs at GTI Coming Home 2018 event (Image: Neil Birkitt, Volkswagen Driver magazine)

Building on the success from last year’s inaugural event, Volkswagen hosted its second ‘GTI Coming Home’ meeting at its Wolfsburg headquarters at the end of August. With cars littered around the nearby Volkswagen Arena and Autostadt visitor attraction, GTI fans from far and wide converged on Wolfsburg to celebrate all things sports VW.

Neil Birkitt from Volkswagen Driver magazine was one of the few UK journalists at the event, and he sent us a selection of images detailing the Polos in attendance. Unsurprisingly, not only was the new Polo GTI a star attraction, with road-going and new GTI R5 rally versions on display, but a large number of Polo R WRC road cars also turned up. The 217bhp limited edition models from 2013 lined up alongside examples of the World Rally Championship-winning title car itself, and made quite a sight.

Volkswagen Polo R WRCs at GTI Coming Home 2018 event (Image: Neil Birkitt, Volkswagen Driver magazine)

As with last year’s debut meeting, one of the highlights of the GTI Coming Home event was the cavalcade of around 250 cars through the Wolfsburg plant itself, driving down Mittelstrasse to Südstrasse, passing the iconic Brand Tower – with it large and illuminated VW roundel – before ending at the Kraftwerk, the instantly-recognisable power station. The meeting also saw the covers pulled off the new Golf GTI TCR production car for the first time in Germany, while the all-electric, all-conquering I.D. Pikes Peak racing car was also on show.

A gallery is featured below, but a full five-page report appears in the November 2018 issue of Volkswagen Driver magazine, on sale now. It also includes the second part of PoloDriver.com editor Rich Gooding’s Polo GTI retrospective, focusing on the 9N3 GTI 1.8T. For more pictures and information, head down to your local newsagent, visit the Volkswagen Driver website, or download the magazine digitally at pocketmags.com.

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15 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Event photo report: Alive &
V-Dubbin’ 2015

Last weekend (13-14 June) we trundled across the county border from Essex to Suffolk for the Alive & V-Dubbin’ 2015 show. Taking place on a field adjacent to Jimmy’s Farm just off the A14, the event is organised by the Suffolk Bugrs VW Club. While the 2015 running was sadly a wet and drizzly affair, it didn’t stop the hardcore VW fans coming out in force. We were surprised by the amount of Polos on show. Here are some of the best. If you spot your car, drop us a line at info@polodriver.com or tweet us @polodrivercom and we’ll amend the captions to include you!

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14 May 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Event photo report: Stanford Hall 2014

Stanford Hall 2014: Luke Herbert's 1976 Volksagen Polo L

As with previous years, Stanford Hall 2014 opened the show season for many. A show with a traditional, laid-back atmosphere and a mixture of both old and new, air-cooled and water-cooled Volkswagens, weather rarely gets the better of it, and it was the same this year. The bright and sunny May Bank Holiday weather brought out myriad Volkswagen Group cars, all immaculately turned out. Here are a few of our favourites.

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03 October 2013 ~ 1 Comment

Guild of Motoring Writers’ Big Day Out

2013 Guild of Motoring Writers' Big Day Out: Renault Clio

The Guild of Motoring Writers (GoMW) is the largest organisation of automotive editorial professionals in the world. Founded on 9 October 1944 at an informal meeting of seven influential journalists at London’s Press Club, the GoMW now has a membership of over 400, in both the UK and overseas. Its members are not just motoring writers either, but a wide range of automotive editorial professionals in many different roles and media.

On Thursday 22 August, the GoMW held its first Big Day Out (BDO) at Rockingham Motor Speedway. A chance for members and non-members to drive their own cars on the British Touring Car Championship circuit, the idea behind it was to bring together like-minded auto industry professionals to enjoy their road cars in a controlled environment. And also to show the changing face of GoMW itself, and promote its younger membership.

As well as driving their own cars around the circuit, attendees could also take models from Ford, Nissan, Kia and Mitsubishi out on road routes outside of the track itself. Ford brought along the Fiesta and Focus STs among others, while the new Kia Pro-Cee’d GT was in attendance, as was the ’90s rally hero, the Mitsubishi Evo Tommi Mäkinen Edition. The Japanese manufacturer also had a diminutively cute 1974 Lancer at the event, along with a Lancer Turbo from 1981. Both were crowd-pullers.

2013 Guild of Motoring Writers' Big Day Out: 1981 Mitsubishi Lancer Turbo

Before that date, I hadn’t taken my 2001 Polo GTI on the track before. I’d taken part in around five track days before with previous cars, yes, but both the car and the Rockingham circuit were new to me in terms of on-track experience. The day started damp, the heavy rain on the way to Northamptonshire from Essex gradually easing. Following a briefing in which we learned that the circuit was the slipperiest in Europe (made even worse by the morning’s rainfall), we were off. It was time to drive.

Sighting laps over, I was very cautious. Not wanting to damage the car, or anyone else’s, I was very wary. The car had given me a fright early on in the day, when the rear end sailed out on a greasy roundabout. I wasn’t driving fast, but the unnerving feeling made me doubt the car’s and my capabilities. The same thing happened on the circuit – the first corner saw the Polo spin, and luckily another track-goer managed to skillfully avoid the silver obstruction slowly pirouetting in front of his car.

As the day wore on, though, the circuit surface dried, and I could trust the car more. Grip was certainly not an issue, and although it felt like it was leaning lots in the corners, our Polo R-Line correspondent John, who runs EngageSportMode.com, stated that in in fact, the GTI was quite flat in the bends. The last corner offered many opportunities for some fun tyre squeal, and all in all, the GTI acquitted itself quite well. No, it wasn’t and isn’t the sharpest tool in the driving box, but I had fun.

One bonus to the day was meeting up with colleagues in the industry, and catching up with fellow Tweeters. You may have been in contact with these like-minded enthusiasts online, but never actually met them, but you could at GoMW BDO. Contacts and introductions were made. Another attraction was the attendance of the manufacturer vehicles, and it was genuinely pleasing to see some old metal among the newer products. I had drives in both the Ford Fiesta ST and Zetec S EcoBoost, something I probably would have gone to a dealership to try otherwise. Both were satisfying for different reasons.

There was a mixture of cars ready for track action, too. A hardcore Vauxhall VX220 mixed it with Renault Clios of varying vintages, a Honda Hybrid and numerous BMWs. There were Polos, too; mine was joined by John Redfern’s 2013 Polo R-Line TSI, and Alex Grant’s Polo G40, which also won the award for the best car representing the spirit of the day. With both an open pit lane format and pit garages for the early risers, BDO really was excellent value for money.

‘The idea behind the Big Day Out was to show the industry that The Guild of Motoring Writers isn’t a stuffy organisation or closed club, but something that is open to the entire industry,’ said organiser and GoMW committee member James Baggott. ‘We wanted to give current members the chance to enjoy their own road cars at a heavily subsidised track day, plus show potential members and the rest of the industry what we’re about.’

2013 Guild of Motoring Writers' Big Day Out: Dave Tillyer's Punto Abarth

Despite the not-ideal weather, the day was hailed a big success. Guild Chairman Richard Aucock said: ‘I am absolutely delighted with how the event went. We had a great turn-out, some interesting cars, top-drawer standards of driving and many happy reports from all attendees.’ (Read more here.) Plans are already underway to make the BDO an annual event. GoMW – you can count me in. Check out the official gallery of the day and search for #GuildBDO on Twitter for related tweets.

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24 July 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Classic enters Polo G40 at Auto Zeitung Youngtimer Classic event

1990 Volkswagen Polo G40, Youngtimer Classic 2013

Volkswagen Classic entered a 1990 Polo G40 at the recent running of the Auto Zeitung Youngtimer Classic 2013 car rally. Once again the event – the fourth – started and ended in Frankfurt, and was open to cars built from 1969 to 1993. Around 100 classics took the roads around the city, completing a timed 280km course. Volkswagen Classic usually sends cars to the event from its ‘rolling museum’ and this year sent a pristine Polo G40 (we think the same car used to launch the Polo GTI in the UK in 2010), as well as a 60bhp 1989 Golf and a Golf Limited-powered, 210bhp Corrado G60 from the same year. The 1990-1994 Polo G40 developed 112bhp from its supercharged 1.3-litre engine, and posted a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds. Another G40 and a 1978 Audi 50 (Mk 1 Polo) driven by Audi Tradition also took part on the event.

1990 Volkswagen Polo G40, Youngtimer Classic 2013

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