The new VW Polo

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With the new Polo, Volkswagen have brought a small car onto the market that has very little in common with the original (rather Spartan) model of the same name. Providing you can dispense with a couple of centimetres in length and a modicum of comfort, you are probably better off with a Polo than with big brother Golf – plus you are going to save a lot of money. The 1975 Polo was a makeshift solution adapted from the Audi 50. This infant came on by leaps and bounds, 10.6 million having since rolled off the production lines. After the Golf, the Polo stands on equal footing with the Passat as the third pillar of Volkswagen's success. This fifth edition is set to compete with the Golf (Europe's most popular car by sales volume) as never before. We present a historical record of how the VW compact has developed over the decades.

Life at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Life at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage


1975 POLO Mk I LAUNCHED IN THE UK

Launched with one 900 cc, 40 PS engine available

Length: 3,505 mm
Width: 1,562 mm
Height: 1,334 mm
Wheelbase: 2,337 mm

1976 Larger engine; 1.1-litre 50 PS introduced to the range

1979 500,000th Polo produced

1981 POLO Mk II LAUNCHED

1,043 cc 40 PS, 1.1-litre 50 PS and same capacity Formel E engines. Formel E designed to run on four rather than two star petrol

Length: 3,655 mm (+ 650 mm)
Width: 1,580 mm (+ 18 mm)
Height: 1,355 mm (+ 21 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,335 mm (- 2 mm)

1982 First Polo Coupé introduced with 1,093 cc 50 PS engine

1983 1,000,000th Polo produced

1986 2,000,000th Polo produced

1990 Comprehensive facelift

Length: 3,765 mm (+ 110 mm)
Width: 1,570 mm (- 10 mm)
Height: 1,350 mm (- 5 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,335 mm (+ 0 mm)

Polo becomes first small car to be fitted with catalyst as standard to meet emissions legislation

1991 3,000,000th Polo produced

Polo G40 with 1.3-litre 112 PS engine launched

1995 POLO Mk III LAUNCHED

Launch engines include 1.0-litre 45 PS, 1.3-litre 55 PS, 1.6-litre
75 PS petrols and a 1.9-litre 64 PS diesel
First time for: diesel engine, five-door bodystyle, automatic transmission and a standard driver's airbag on all but the entry-level E model

4,000,000th Polo produced

Length: 3,715 mm (- 50 mm)
Width: 1,655 mm (+ 85 mm)
Height: 1,420 mm (+ 70 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (+ 65 mm)

1996 Polo Saloon launched – replacing Polo Classic
Polo Harlequin introduced with 1.4-litre 60 PS engine

1997 Polo Estate launched

5,000,000th Polo produced

1998 6,000,000th Polo produced

2000 UK launch of facelifted model
Engine highlights include 1.4-litre TDI PD diesel and, for the first time, a GTI.
This featured a 1.6-litre 125 PS engine and modifications in appearance

At 25th anniversary 6,480,000 Polos had been built

2001 7,000,000th Polo produced

New Saloon and Estate launched

2002 POLO Mk IV LAUNCHED

Class-first as all models feature ABS and twin front airbags as standard

Length: 3,897 mm (+ 182 mm)
Width: 1,650 mm (- 5 mm)
Height: 1,465 mm (+ 45 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,460 mm (+ 60 mm)

2003 8,000,000th Polo produced

1.4-litre 85 PS FSI direct injection petrol model launched. Polo becomes first Volkswagen in the UK to feature this technology
Twist model launched

2004 Polo Dune launched – a five-door variant featuring raised suspension and
enhanced bodywork. Available with a 1.2-litre 65 PS three-cylinder petrol; a
1.4-litre 75 PS four-cylinder petrol; and a 1.4-litre 75 PS TDI three-cylinder diesel

2005 9,000,000th Polo produced

International debut of the revised Polo at the Leipzig Show in April
Revised Polo on sale in the UK from June 2005

Length: 3,916 mm (+ 19mm)
Width: 1,650 mm (+ 0 mm)
Height: 1,465 mm (+ 0 mm)
Wheelbase: 2,460 mm (+ 0 mm)

2006 Most powerful production Polo ever is launched – GTI is fitted with 1.8-litre Turbo
150 PS engine
Revised Polo Dune launched with 1.4-litre 75 PS petrol and 1.4-litre TDI 70 PS diesel engines

2007 10,000,000th Polo produced

BlueMotion technology debuts in the UK on the Polo. Model launched with a
1.4-litre TDI 80 PS engine which returns 74.3 mpg and emits just 99 g/km of CO2

2009 International debut of the Polo Mk V at Geneva Motor Show

Length: 3,952 mm (+ 36 mm)
Width: 1,682 mm (+ 32 mm)
Height: 1,454 mm (- 13 mm)