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New Polo: Not just for people who can’t afford a Golf

The new sixth generation Polo isn't just the Golf's cheaper little sister. It has become the car that people want, according to one of the designers who has worked on the project.

With more than 14 million units sold, the VW Polo is one of the world's most successful compact cars. Now a completely new generation of the best-seller is launching this year. With an entirely new exterior design, noticeably more spacious interior that has also been redesigned down to the last detail, new cockpit layout structured for the digital world, efficient TSI (petrol), TGI (natural gas) and TDI (diesel) engines, as well as an array of assistance systems previously only familiar in larger Volkswagen cars.

Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand, said: "The Polo is a young, fresh car. It combines charisma with strong technology. No other car offers so much space for its size. This makes our Polo the number one compact, and it will remain number one."

Dr Frank Welsch, Board Member for Development of the Volkswagen Brand, said: "The new Polo brings the future to the compact class. A whole lot of space - based on the modular transverse matrix - sustainable engines like a new natural gas TGI, the world premiere of a new generation of the Active Info Display, the latest infotainment systems and forward-thinking assistance systems - these qualities enable this Volkswagen to overcome traditional class boundaries."

The sixth generation Polo has grown, making it larger than its predecessor in all of its dimensions. This has resulted in much more interior space and a significantly increased boot volume, which has grown from 280 to 351 litres. Nonetheless, it is still a snappy compact car on the outside. It is enlightening to compare this car to the fourth generation Golf (built until 2003) which has sold in the millions. It shows that the Polo has adapted to people who have grown, but also that it utilises its enclosed space even more effectively. The new Polo, with its length of 4,053 mm, is slightly shorter than the fourth generation Golf, but it surpasses that Golf when it comes to its wheelbase (53 mm longer) and space for the driver, passengers and luggage (21 litres more).

The Polo is launching in three familiar trim lines Trendline, Comfortline and Highline, and in the 'Beats' special edition, with a sound system configured for contemporary sound. Another version that appears from the start on the new car's life is the Polo GTI. Several packages are also being offered in the form of R-Line, Black and Style. All three have a lot to offer.

Even the base version of the new Polo, the Trendline, is well equipped and has standard features such as LED daytime running lights with coming-home and leaving-home functionality, a speed limiter and the Front Assist area monitoring system with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. These are all features that confirm safety does not allow for any compromises. On the Polo Trendline, power is transferred to the road via 14-inch wheels. The base price of the Polo Trendline is 12,975 euros in Germany - this represents a significant price advantage compared to the previous model when the price is adjusted for now standard options, such as the rear doors and the area monitoring system that is included as standard.

At the Comfortline trim level, additional details are added such as the Composition Colour infotainment system, air conditioning (Climatic), Driver Alert system, centre armrest, seat covers in knitted velvet, front and rear electric windows with one-touch control, a multi-function steering wheel and 15-inch wheels.

Customers who choose the Highline also get Park Distance Control (PDC), white LED background lighting (front doors and instrument panel), multifunction steering wheel in combination with leather-trimmed gear shift lever and brake lever and 15-inch alloy wheels.

A new edition of the successful Polo Beats has been designed, which targets younger customer groups. It has a 300-watt sound system by legendary US headphone producer Beats (Dr. Dre) as well as a host of other features. Exterior features include 16-inch alloy wheels, black painted exterior mirror housings, decorative decals on the bonnet and roof and 'Beats' badging on the B-pillars. Inside, the 'Beats' model is customised with such features as a dashpad painted in 'Velvet Red', sport seats with specially designed covers and 'Beats' logo and special sill panel trims. The sound system can be ordered as an option in other models.

Rounding out the model range at the top is the new Polo GTI. This sporty model will now be powered by a 2.0-litre TSI with an output of 147 kW / 200 PS (previous model: 1.8 TSI with 141 kW / 192 PS). Matching the engine's high output are the standard sport chassis and the optional Sport Select chassis. At the front, this most powerful Polo stands out by virtue of such features as a specially designed bumper with integrated spoiler lip and fog lights as standard. Typical GTI insignia at the front include the red stripe on the radiator grille, honeycomb air vent screens and, of course, the GTI badge. An exclusive feature offered in the GTI: optional LED headlights with a red winglet; stylistically they are extensions of the red stripe of the radiator grille. At the rear, the Polo GTI sports a large roof spoiler in high-gloss black, a diffuser in the bumper, GTI-specific dual tailpipes, LED tail lights and, again, the GTI badge. On the sides, GTI characteristics include standard 17-inch alloy wheels (18-inch optional), side sill extensions and brake calipers that are painted red. In the interior, the 200-PS Polo also offers unique characteristics that are typical of a GTI. They include top sport seats with the legendary 'Clark' tartan pattern, a multifunction leather-trimmed sport steering wheel with red stitching, rooflining and roof pillars in black and a GTI gear shift grip. Ambient lighting is also included as standard.

The Polo has a choice of 14 exterior colours and twelve wheels (14 to 18-inch, some painted in contrasting colour), dashpads in 13 different decors, two interior trim versions and eleven different seat covers.

For the first time, the Polo will be available with a natural gas engine: the newly developed 1.0 TGI with an output of 66 kW / 90 PS1/2. Four petrol and two diesel engines are also available. The petrol engines range from the 1.0 MPI with 65 PS1/2 to the brand new 1.5 TSI EVO with cylinder deactivation (ACT) and 150 PS1/2. The Polo is launching with diesel versions (TDI) with outputs of 59 KW / 80 PS1/2 and 70 kW / 95 PS1/2. All of these models are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode. Starting from an output of 70 kW, all engines may be combined with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG).

Interior and HMI (human-machine interface) designers created a new, clean interior layout in order to locate the digital and connected displays and controls on a continuous visual axis that is as high as possible and most visible to the driver. The Polo will launch as the first Volkswagen model ever to offer this new generation of the Active Info Display. The functionality of the digital instruments reaches a new peak; just like the graphics, everything is clearer and easier to use. For the first time, just one button on the multifunction steering wheel is used to switch between the basic Views menus, for instance. At the same time, the Polo is getting the latest generation of infotainment systems with display diagonals ranging from 6.5 to 8.0 inches - glass-encased devices that are as sophisticated as high-end smartphones. The clean, high-tech image of the interior is reinforced by background lighting (standard equipment in Polo Highline and GTI) as well as by dashpads and decorative trim strips in a wide variety of colours.

The new Polo interconnects the driver and other vehicle occupants more easily than ever before. Likewise, with the Volkswagen's outside world. In the Polo, they are 'always on', which is to say they are online whenever they wish. Not only can they access the 'App Connect' Car-Net applications familiar from the previous model (App Connect integrates Android and Apple smartphone apps via MirrorLinkÒ [Android] Android Auto™ [Google] or Apple CarPlay™) and 'Guide & Inform' (wide variety of online services).

The five petrol engines range from the 1.0 MPI with 48 kW / 65 PS to the new 1.5 TSI EVO with 110 kW / 150 PS and cylinder deactivation (ACT). The drive systems are rounded out by a sixth petrol engine, the GTI engine that is a 2.0 TSI with 147 kW / 200 PS. As a diesel, the Polo will launch with a choice of two 1.6 TDI engines whose outputs are 59 kW / 80 PS and 70 kW / 95 PS, respectively. Both TDI models have an SCR catalytic converter. All Polo engine variants come equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode as standard.

The sixth generation Polo will be available later this year. Look out for it at Blade, Gloucester and Inchape, Cheltenham.

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