The all-new Volkswagen Polo has been revealed in Berlin boasting crisp new styling, availability of equipment normally found in posh Audis, much more interior space and a promise from management “it will remain number one”.
All set to go head-to-head with Ford’s new Fiesta, which we’ll be driving in a few weeks, the new sixth generation Polo will build upon 14 million sales of its predecessors primarily by furthering its status as the supermini sector’s classiest small car.
It will offer the digital instrument display first seen in the Audi TT, class-leading active safety tech including autonomous emergency braking, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, even a range of smartphone apps.
Excitingly, there’s even going to be a Polo GTI available from launch – with, no less, a 2.0-litre turbo engine producing 200hp!
Viva la evolution
Of course, you’re thinking, it looks familiar. Naturally: it’s a Volkswagen, and Volkswagen does evolutionary styling, not revolutionary. Even so, the new Polo does actually look like a new car, with tight body creases, a broader stance and modern VW design cues such as the headlights and chiselled body sides.
Inside is where the big news is. The current Polo’s interior is humdrum. This all-new one is a huge step on, with a modern look that’s designed around a high-set central touchscreen that brings Volkswagen’s latest widescreen glass-front systems into its best-selling supermini. Small car buyers are in for a treat here.
Even better, the same Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display first seen in teh Audi TT is now offered on the Polo – and it looks just as fantastic here. This is the first time a supermini has offered such a comprehensive instrument display and, although it won’t be cheap, it’s set to be a highly desirable option.
The introduction of more colour, thanks to configurable contrast colour strips is also a welcome new Polo feature. Indeed, to complement a choice of 14 exterior colours, you can pick from fully 13 different dashpad designs.
The biggest Polo ever
Size-wise, this is the biggest Polo ever. It’s 4,053mm long, making it one of the few superminis over the four-metre mark. The wheelbase is a yawning 94mm longer, which is great news for interior space, and also probably for ride quality as well. A measure of just how much it’s grown is boot space: 351 litres is 25 percent larger than the outgoing car.
It’s based on Volkswagen’s newest platform called MQB: a version of this is also used by the Golf, and a diverse selection of other cars such as the Audi TT. It offers a choice of eight engines: six petrol – that’s 1.0 MPI 65hp or 75hp, 1.0 TSI 95hp or 115hp, 1.5 TSI 150, 2.0 TSI 200 – and a 1.6 TDI diesel with either 80hp or 95hp.
Volkswagen isn’t saying much about the exciting new GTI at this stage, other than that it will have a standard sport chassis and optional ‘Sport Select’ setup, 17-inch or 18-inch alloys, GTI styling cues and, of course, ‘Clark’ tartan seats inside. As Ford downsizes the Fiesta ST to a three-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo, the decision to drop the Golf GTI 2.0-litre turbo into the Polo GTI is more than a little exciting.
The new Volkswagen Polo goes on sale later in 2017, with prices yet to be confirmed, but almost certainly not straying too far from the £12,600 entry-level price of today’s model.
More Volkswagen news on Motoring Research:
- Volkswagen praised for being a safety trailblazer
- 2017 Volkswagen Golf facelift: everything you need to know
- Volkswagen Up GTI revealed at Worthersee
The Austrian town of Reifnitz on the side of Lake Worth, or Worthersee, has hosted the ‘GTI Treffen’ festival for 36 years. Originally a small meet of Volkswagen enthusiasts (just 100 cars attended the first event), more than 100,000 fans from all over Europe now head to the Alps at the end of May. We sent a snapper to the event and captured some of the weird and wacky VWs in attendance.
- Volkswagen Up GTI revealed at Worthersee
- Hybrid Volkswagen Golf GTI at Worthersee 2017
- Audi 80 GT review: Retro Road Test
Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI
If Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTIs are your thing, you’ll be well catered for at Worthersee. The event was first created to celebrate the original GTI, and there are still loads in attendance today. From the original example to modified ones like this bright yellow GTI, we can get behind the subtle look.
Mk3 Volkswagen Golf cabriolet
What were we saying about ‘subtle’? This modified third-generation Golf cabriolet is anything but. There really is something for everyone.
Although predominantly a Volkswagen show, there are other VW Group cars in attendance. Such as this interesting Audi A1, which we can barely see thanks to its camo look.
Brown with gold alloys doesn’t sound like a great look, but it works for us on this Audi 100.
The Audi 50 is what became known as the Volkswagen Polo… and the rest, as they say, is history. This fairly standard and incredibly tidy example received many admiring glances at Worthersee.
Volkswagen Passat Coupe
Remember when Passats were cool? This B1 generation Passat Coupe is closely related to the Audi 80 of the same era.
Mk1 Volkswagen Golf
In a town full of modified Vee-dubs, there’s something very refreshing about a pair of properly mint Mk1 Golfs as the factory intended.
Well, if you’re visiting the Alps for a VW festival, is there a better way of doing it than an old-school VW camper?
Thanks to their popularity, classic Volkswagen Beetles are still a relatively common sight on the roads. Plenty made it to Worthersee, including this lovely green example complete with skis on the back.
Volkswagen Polo G40
The Polo G40 is the result of what happened when VW bolted a supercharger to the 1.3-litre engine in the GT. Although it wasn’t incredibly powerful (it produced 115hp), it’d beat both the Fiesta XR2i and Peugeot 205 GTi in the 0-62mph run.
Ah, the VW Lupo. Pre-dating the popular Up, the Lupo wasn’t quite the sales success of its successor. They’ve got quite a following in Volkswagen circles, though. This was one of a number of modified examples on show at Worthersee.
Volkswagen Polo Harlequin
You can imagine the meeting that led to the creation of the Volkswagen Polo Harlequin. “We need to give the Polo a sales boost. Let’s launch a special edition. But what can we do with it?” The answer, apparently, was to paint every body panel a different colour. Around 3,800 were made (and presumably sold), including this modified example.
A Volkswagen Touran people carrier doesn’t seem the obvious choice as a base for a modified car. Name the VW, however, and you’ll probably find a modded version at Worthersee.
Mk2 Volkswagen Golf
We spotted this lovely Mk2 Volkswagen Golf in one of the car parks at Worthersee. The decals suggest it’s an Elite special edition… we don’t know much about it, but feel free to tell us more about it in the comments if you do!
This week, an elephant sat on a Volkswagen Polo. It’s OK; both occupants (yes, and elephant) are absolutely fine. Read more
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