19 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Sixth-generation Polo: prototype drives, leaked details and renderings round-up

2018 Volkswagen Polo prototype

Speculation has been gathering pace the past few weeks as more details on the sixth-generation Polo are leaked. The latest intelligence is first-hand, though, as both weekly UK motoring magazines Autocar and Auto Express have been out in the newest version of our favourite small Volkswagen, by way of prototype drives in South Africa. The Autocar first drive report is here, while this link leads to the comments from Auto Express. Volkswagen has even got in on the act, too, and has released its own teaser video (below).

Impressive refinement
Just as with the new SEAT Ibiza which is also based on the smallest ‘A0’ version of the new ‘MQB’ platform, impressive refinement and grown-up abilities are touted, and these are both qualities which, in the past, have served the Polo well. Increased space thanks to the new underpinnings looks set to increase comfort, while handling appears to point to the ‘secure’ end of the scale.

The Ibiza-previewing-Polo story is a familiar one: the second-generation Ibiza previewed the third-generation Polo, being based on the new small VW’s chassis, though with a longer front overhang and engine bay, the Spanish car was able to take more powerful engines. Even Skoda was at it in 1999: the platform of the first-generation Fabia then appearing in both the fourth-generation Polo and third-generation Ibiza.

Evolutionary appearance
Of course, with prototype drives, there’s always some supposition, and it’s the same with how the sixth-generation Polo’s looks. The prototype cars were shrouded in camouflage – though the basic silhouette and form suggests an evolutionary appearance – but photos which originated from Car magazine in South Africa caught an undisguised car undergoing testing. The latest images of the new car surfaced this week, and with the virtually no disguise, that evolution is very definitely clear to see.

Again, sharper lines update the design themes of the current car, but it’s a masterclass in caution. It’s the same with the round of speculative renderings which have surfaced from various sources. Although we’re not quite sure which direction the car could have gone in, Volkswagen was clearly not going to deviate from the successful template too much: the Polo is a best-seller both in Europe and the UK after all, and is gathering popularity in other far flung markets such as India and South Africa.

2018 Volkswagen Polo prototype

Turbocharged petrol engines
The biggest revolution appears to be both under the skin and bonnet. A range of small-capacity turbocharged petrol engines will make up the bulk of the new Polo family, with a trio of 1.0-litre TSI units with varying power outputs from 64 to 113bhp. Two versions of the just-launched new Golf’s 1.5-litre TSI with active cylinder shutdown will also feature, while the GTI model – yes, there will be one! – should get upwards of 200bhp. A brace of 1.6-litre diesels is also expected: the Polo’s not eschewing the black pump yet, even though diesel superminis don’t sell in big numbers.

Despite the presentation slides at the re-launch of the fifth-generation car in 2014 stating there would be a mild hybrid version of the current Polo, it never arrived, and although initial reports suggested otherwise, it appears that this will be the case with the new car, too. Cost is thought to be the primary reason for the change of heart at VW, which means the Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris are set to have the supermini hybrid party to themselves for a little longer.

‘Big car’ technologies
Inside, the latest Polo is expected to continue its predecessors’ reputation for high quality, with yet again, many ‘big car’ technologies showcased. Most noticeably, the ‘Active Info Display’ digital instrument technology is thought to be optional on higher trim models, while reports suggest that the colour touchscreen infotainment system could boast a screen of 9.2 inches in size, again, most probably as a factory extra on more luxurious versions.

While PoloDriver.com isn’t usually one for speculation, there’s been so much going on with the the new-generation car recently, we felt we couldn’t ignore all that has been going on. We’ll bring you full details of the new Polo when we have them. While an official unveiling – and the start of production – is expected next month, the car itself is widely expected to make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt motor show in September, ahead of a UK on-sale of spring 2018. Prices are expected to start at around £13,000, rising to £21,000 for the sporting GTI version.

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19 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo spotted testing; ‘hybrid’ platform for India

2016 Volkswagen Polo (UK)

Ahead of a possible Geneva motor show reveal next spring, the new 2017 Volkswagen Polo has been spotted out and about in recent weeks. Heavily camouflaged versions of the new supermini have been seen piling on the miles in the most unlikely of places – the US. The Polo has never been sold Stateside (unlike its arch rival of 40 years, the Ford Fiesta), but various test cars have been spotted by Auto Express wearing Arizona licence plates.

Smallest MQB platform
Set to sit on the smallest of Volkswagen’s not-quite-so-new ‘MQB’ platform – which will eventually be shared with Audi, SEAT and Skoda variants – the new Polo will sport a slightly larger wheelbase for enlarged rear leg room, but the length will remain at close to four metres. Going by the spyshots, styling is expected to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

A host of small-capacity petrol engines will be boosted by turbochargers, while a new 1.5-litre diesel unit similar to one in use by Indian versions of the Polo will be drafted into service for the 2017 model. Transmissions are expected to be five and six-speed manuals, as well as the seven-speed DSG semi-automatic.

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI (UK)

Polo GTI, but no GTE
Emissions are expected to be lower thanks to the revised and new efficient engines, but it’s not all economy and parsimony. Excitingly, one camouflaged car in the Auto Express spyshots looks to be a GTI, which signals that the ‘sports’ Polo will still have a place in the new line-up. Expect at least the 189bhp of the current ‘6C’ fifth-generation car, but sadly no hybrid ‘GTE’ version.

New connected technologies will play a major part in the sixth-generation model’s make-up, too. As with the revised variant introduced in 2014, touchscreen infotainment systems should feature throughout the range. And expect that range to broaden significantly with the introduction of the production version of the ‘T-Cross Breeze’ concept unveiled at the 2016 Geneva motor show – Autocar has papped this out testing, too.

‘Hybrid’ ‘PQ25’ chassis
The Polo is now a world car, on sale and doing good business in China, India, Russia, and South America among other places, but ET Bureau and Indian Autos Blog report that the 2017 car for India will be at least part-based on the current model, and not adopt quite so much of the new platform. this is thought to be down to cost-savings after the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions issue.

Slated for a 2018-2019 launch, the next-generation Polo and Vento (Polo saloon) for the Indian market are now expected to sit on the existing Polo’s ‘PQ25’ chassis, as will the new SUV version which is also thought to appear. A ‘hybrid’ mesh of the two old and new platforms is currently expected to work, although final details are still being finalised. New electrical systems are thought to provide the technology upgrades the emerging market Polo will demand.

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02 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Polo-sized Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze SUV unveiled at 2016 Geneva motor show

2016 Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze

At the start of this week’s Geneva motor show, Volkswagen unveiled a new model at the Swiss expo which leads a ‘broad offensive’ of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) from the German brand. The T-Cross Breeze (yes, we know, a silly name), the soft-top is an unexpected punch to launch, according to Head of Design Klaus Bischoff, ‘New Volkswagen’.

While the T-Cross Breeze solicited ‘copycat Range Rover Evoque Convertible’-type comments from the motoring press – and there’s no denying there is a similarity – what’s more important is that underneath the T-Cross Breeze is rumoured to be a version of the new ‘A0’ small car version of the Volkswagen Group’s ‘MQB’ platform.

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