As journalists drive the new Polo BlueGT, Volkswagen UK has confirmed availability on the UK market, and released some further details about the car. The Polo BlueGT is coming to the UK, with the order books opening in September. UK deliveries are expected to start by the end of 2012, while prices are projected to begin at £17,500 for the three-door model. The Polo BlueGT borrows the Polo GTI’s rear spoiler, rear bumper, front bumper, and black interior roof lining, while the Polo BlueMotion lends its side sills and windscreen rain channels. The new eco-performance Polo also features a black-painted front grille, black door mirror caps and 17″ ‘Montani’ alloy wheels. The fuel-saving four cylinder EA211 1.4 engine with deactivation technology will become one of the cornerstones of the new MQB platform. Read all about this exciting new chapter in the Polo’s history by clicking our ‘Polo BlueGT’ category tab.
Volkswagen unveiled the latest chapter in the Polo’s story back in March at the Geneva motor show, and now the Polo BlueGT has had its first driving presentation in Amsterdam. Featuring active cylinder management (ACT), it marries the concepts of ‘dynamics’ and ‘fuel efficiency’ together, shutting down two cylinders of the four-cylinder TSI petrol engine at lower speeds – the first such system in a production Volkswagen. Developing 138bhp (103kW) from its 1.4 litres, the Polo BlueGT accelerates to 62mph in 7.9 seconds (1.4 seconds slower than the 178bhp Polo GTI), and when fitted with the optional seven-speed DSG transmission, records a fuel consumption figure of over 60mpg. Emissions are 108g/km, top speed is 130mph.
Active cylinder management turns off cylinders two and three, kicking in between torque outputs of 18-74lb ft and between 1250 and 4000rpm, and the added benefits of direct injection, BlueMotion Technologies (Stop/Start system, battery regeneration, aerodynamic components) all play their part in making the Polo BlueGT close the gap between the turbocharged 1.2-litre model with 104bhp and the twincharged 178bhp Polo GTI. Volkswagen states that when ACT is active, fuel consumption in the EU driving cycle is reduced by about 0.4 l/100km. Distinctive features of the fun yet parsimonious Polo BlueGT include 17-inch ‘Montani’ alloy wheels, a Silk Blue Metallic paint finish (other colours are available, too), special aero kit, and a 15mm lower ride height. On sale in Germany in the autumn, the Polo BlueGT will cost from €19.650. No confirmation has yet been given for UK market availability.
We’ve managed to get our hand on an early Polo BlueGT brochure, and it reveals a few more details about the technology-laden small hatchback, which is released for sale in Germany in July. Just to recap, the Polo BlueGT mixes near-GTI performance with near-BlueMotion levels of economy, thanks to its clever 1.4-litre 138bhp TSI engine, which features cylinder deactivation technology. Running in two-cylinder mode between torque outputs of 18-74lb ft and between 1250 and 4000rpm, Volkswagen states that the changeover is imperceptible. The Polo BlueGT gets to 62mph from rest in 7.9 seconds, while emitting just 108g/km of CO2, and with forecasts of over 60mpg on the combined cycle, it seems performance and economy can be bedfellows after all.
So, what else does the brochure tell us? Only four paint colours are available – Candy White, Silk Blue Metallic, Reflex Silver Metallic and Intense Black Pearl Effect – with only the former being standard at no extra cost. The seats are trimmed in ‘Blue Speed’ mesh-type cloth with while blue alcantara panels, and the multifunction steering wheel, gear lever gaiter and handbrake are wrapped in leather with ‘Grey Crystal’ stitching. Wheels are 17-inch ‘Montani’ silver alloys, although can be specified with an Anthracite finish at extra cost. We also hadn’t noticed how the rear spoiler is supported by two black aerodynamic fairings either side of the rear window – a neat, but subtle touch. The one thing this early preview brochure doesn’t include however is prices.
Volkswagen UK is adding DAB radios as standard to all its 2013 passenger cars, including the Polo, in readiness for the switch to digital radio broadcasting. Offering drivers a clear and crackle-free sound, a larger range of stations is also available, along with specialist genres. All Volkswagen DAB systems will also pick up AM and FM frequencies, as well as play MP3-compatible and regular CDs, while every model in the range comes with an aux-in socket to connect iPods and other MP3 players. The 2013 model-year Polo S now comes with six speakers connected to a standard RCD 310 audio unit to make the most of the higher quality digital audio, and this basic specification is equalled or bettered up through the range of Volkswagen cars.
Upgrade options include the MDI multi-device interface, which allows easy connection of iPods or USB sticks, which can then be controlled via the car’s audio system; Bluetooth connection of compatible telephones and music playback; Dynaudio speakers and amplifiers; higher-power audio systems with colour touchscreen controls and an SD memory card slot; and touchscreen satellite navigation systems, including with built-in HD memory. The only previous DAB unit available for the Polo was the RCD 510 touchscreen radio system, costing £300 as an optional upgrade. All 2013 model-year VW passenger cars can be ordered from your local Volkswagen Retailer from now.
After an 8-year absence, the Polo GT is back! Rumours of this potentially groundbreaking new Polo model only surfaced last week, but today, Volkswagen has made it official news. The Polo BlueGT (no space) was announced this morning at the 2012 Geneva Auto Salon, and pairs up the unlikely bedfellows of performance and frugality. Using ACT (Active Cylinder Technology) cylinder deactivation technology we first reported on recently, it is the first production Volkswagen to be fitted with such cutting-edge mechanicals. The 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is the first of the new EA211 series of powerplants which will become commonplace in Volkswagen’s new modular transverse matrix platform system.
Displacing 138bhp (103kW), the new unit gets the Polo BlueGT to 62mph from rest in 7.9 seconds, while top speed is 130mph. Emissions number 108g/km, some 31 less than the 178bhp Polo GTI, but specify the optional seven-speed DSG gearbox and this last figure tumbles further, with a CO2 reading of just 105g/km. Fuel economy is exceptional for a ‘warm’ hatch – the Polo BlueGT is forecast to do 60mpg on a combined cycle with a manual gearbox, and 62mpg when fitted with the semi-automatic shifter.
Of course, it’s all about the engine with the Polo BlueGT. Under light and medium loads, the second and third cylinders of the four-cylinder unit are automatically shut off, saving up 0.2 gallons when driven at a constant 31mph. Cylinder deactivation starts at engine speeds of between 1250 and 4000rpm, and at torque outputs of 18-74lb ft (25-100Nm). When the accelerator pedal is pressed, Volkswagen says that the two cylinders are imperceptibly reactivated. With mechanical switchovers happening in 13-36 milliseconds, a dashboard display lets drivers know when deactivation occurs.
A black interior roof lining helps give the cabin a sporty ambience, while GTI instruments impart information to the driver. Bespoke BlueGT sport seats with grey and blue alcantara panels help distinguish the Polo BlueGT from its lesser siblings, while a flat-bottomed, leather-trimmed steering wheel features a blue ‘GT’ emblem. On sale in Europe in July, UK availability has yet to be confirmed, but if it was, we expect it to be near the end of the year, and at around £16,500, placing it directly between the 104bhp Polo 1.2 SEL TSI and the 178bhp Polo GTI. We hope Volkswagen UK decides to import it.