2018 Volkswagen Polo takes design inspiration from the VW Golf; comes sharper and edgier to accentuate its sportier stance
Volkswagen debuted the next generation Polo in Berlin, ahead of its public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, as Volkswagen chairman Herbert Diess presented the new hatch at Wolfsburg headquarters. The production version of the sixth-generation VW Polo looks identical to its predecessor in many ways but the obvious differences are also visible to the naked eye.
The new Polo comes sharper and edgier than the outgoing model. The front fascia appears conventional with the similar headlamp, front grille and front bumper design like the current model. The headlamps are quite sharper and it incorporates integrated LED daytime running lights with a sleek appearance. The front grille gets chrome line running across and the front bumper too comes with blackened horizontally slats. It has a distinctive swage line graphic providing additional structure to the bodywork above the door handles.
At the side profile, the new Polo sports sharper character lines compared to the outgoing model, while the strong shoulder line along with the blackened glass area enhance its appeal further. Moving to the rear, the C pillar looks evolutionary as well. The taillights are slightly tweaked in its appearance, while the rear bumper comes sculpted and different looking.
Dimensionally, the new generation Volkswagen Polo is longer and wider than the predecessor, which surely enhances its road presence. It is underpinned by the MQB-A0 platform, shared with the Seat Ibiza and the upcoming Skoda Fabia. Thanks to the additional length and width, the cabin of the new Polo is more spacious than ever. Its production began at Volkswagen’s Navarra factory in Spain back in June for the international markets.
It has been produced in five-door configuration only globally with a choice of up to six engines. The most powerful GTI gets a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine making 197 bhp. Developed from the ground up, the new Polo boasts a 94 mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing model at 2,564 mm – while the wider track allows for larger footprint than ever before. Hot formed steel and aluminium within the floorpan are used for added weight saving. It support MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension.
It measures 4,053 mm in length, 1,751 mm in width and 1,446 mm in height which is comparison is 81 mm longer, 63 mm wider and 7 mm lower than its predecessor. Offered in six different trim lines, there is the well-known Trendline, Comfortline and Highline along with a Beats special edition with premium sound system and R-line with re-styled bumpers, 16-inch wheels and darkened exterior bits.
The range-topping GTI comprises of honeycomb grille insert, red highlights within the headlamps, LED tail lamps, chromed exhaust pipes, 17-inch wheels, rear spoiler, etc. The new Polo claims to have 15 mm increase in front headroom and 30 mm increase in rear headroom. With 71 litres of additional luggage capacity, the boot volume has gone up to 351 litres.
A newly designed dashboard gains brand new steering wheel, contemporary switchgear standard analogue instruments, optional Active Info Display digital instruments alongside wireless smartphone charging pad and keyless access. The standard assistance systems include Volkswagen’s Front Assist, City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, TPMS and speed limiter.
Volkswagen has already affirmed that the new Polo will be retailed with four petrol engines besides a single diesel mill in different power states of tune. They will have standard stop/start function and brake energy recuperation for better fuel economy. A standard five-speed or six-speed manual and optional a seven-speed dual clutch unit will be on offer.
With front-wheel-drive only configuration throughout, the petrol engines have diverse power range from 64 bhp to 197 bhp in the 2.0-litre turbocharged GTI version. The 1.6-litre diesel will make either 80 bhp or 95 bhp. It will come at a slight premium of Rs. 30,000-40,000 when it likely reaches India sometime late next year with no change in powertrain options.
Currently the Polo GTI sold in India via CBU route is based on the old PQ25 platform but the new version is advanced and casts a shadow over whether it will arrive here or not as it’s built on MQB AO. The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder EA888 direct injection turbocharged engine comes in place of the 1.8-litre motor and it puts out 197hp at 6,000 rpm and 320 Nm of peak torque at 1,500 rpm to 4,400 rpm.
Due to the massive 70 Nm boost in torque, it has a slightly improved 0-100 kmph acceleration time of 6.7 seconds and a bump in top speed to 237 kmph. The petrol mill is coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission before the arrival of a six-speed manual. The standard ‘sports running gear’ includes tuned shocks, anti rollbars, springs and auxiliary units.
With improved features, the 2018 GTI gets a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, standard Beats 200W audio, fully digital instrument cluster, driver assistance features such as like Front Assist, proactive occupant protection system, Automatic Post-Collision Braking, City Emergency Braking, Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor, etc.