Automotive Blog

VW unveils sixth-generation Polo




VW has launched the latest iteration of its classic B-segment hatchback as it looks to increase profitability and continue rehabilitating the brand's image.

IHS Markit perspective

  • Significance: The VW passenger car brand has publicly debuted the sixth generation of its Polo B-segment passenger car at a media reception at Wolfsburg.
  • Implications: The car will be a cornerstone of the brand's financial and reputational recovery strategy. It features far sharper, and more contemporary styling and a host of connectivity and infotainment features to make it appeal to the young buying demographic VW is chasing with the car.
  • Outlook: The new Polo looks a very big step up on the old car and will provide a useful sales boost for the brand towards the end of 2017 and into 2018 as the new model is rolled out. However, B-Car in general faces ever more intensifying competition from small crossovers; the Polo will compete against its forthcoming sibling the T-Cross.

The Volkswagen (VW) passenger car brand launched the sixth generation of its Polo B-segment passenger car brand at a press event at the firm's headquarters in Wolfsburg on 16 June. The new car replaces the outgoing model which has come to the end of a lengthy eight-year model cycle, with a more sophisticated array of powertrains, enhanced infotainment and connectivity and an all-new platform in the form of the short-wheel base derivation of VW's MQB platform, MQB AO, which debuted earlier in the year on the Polo's sister vehicle the SEAT Ibiza. As is common it seems, with every new iteration of a new model, the new Polo's dimensions are significantly larger with a 94mm increase in wheelbase to 2,564mm while the front track has grown by 62mm and 49mm at the rear. The net effect is substantially improved cabin space and rear leg room over the outgoing fifth generation. Commenting to Autocar on the growth of the model, VW brand head Herbert Diess said, "All cars normally grow a little, but where the Polo has grown most is in its wheelbase; this adds a lot of comfort but doesn't add a lot of size. The car has become wider and lower, so the car's proportions are improved. It's increased a little in size, but this has been fully translated to the inside; more leg room and a lot more bootspace." The new Polo will only be available in a five-door hatchback body style for the first time, with every single previous Polo being offered with a three-door hatch body style, This is part of the VW passenger car brand's cost-cutting and rationalisation strategy, with obvious savings to be made, and production efficiencies gained, by only offering one body style. Six different powertrains will be offered eventually, beginning with two variants of the normally aspirated three-cylinder 1.0-litre gasoline (petrol) powertrain, with 64 bhp and 74 bhp. There will also be two TSI turbocharged variants of the three-cylinder unit with 94 bhp and 113 bhp. There is also the new 1-5-litre four-cylinder direct injection gasoline engine with 148 bhp which was recently added to the revised Golf range, while next year the GTI variant will have a 197-bhp turbocharged variant of the EA888 powertrain. There will also only be one diesel unit, which will be a 1.6-litre common-rail unit with an 80bhp and 95bhp variant. The car also has a number of advanced driver assistance such as City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring systems as well as a tyre pressure monitoring function and a speed limiter. Buyers also have the option of specifying high-end features found on more expensive and bigger vehicles, including VW's Active Info Display digital instruments, while there are advanced connectivity features, including a wireless smartphone charging pad and keyless access.

Outlook and Implications

The Volkswagen (VW) passenger car brand launched the sixth generation of its Polo B-segment passenger car brand at a press event at the firm's headquarters in Wolfsburg on 16 June. The new car replaces the outgoing model which has come to the end of a lengthy eight-year model cycle, with a more sophisticated array of powertrains, enhanced infotainment and connectivity and an all-new platform in the form of the short-wheel base derivation of VW's MQB platform, MQB AO, which debuted earlier in the year on the Polo's sister vehicle the SEAT Ibiza. As is common it seems, with every new iteration of a new model, the new Polo's dimensions are significantly larger with a 94mm increase in wheelbase to 2,564mm while the front track has grown by 62mm and 49mm at the rear. The net effect is substantially improved cabin space and rear leg room over the outgoing fifth generation. Commenting to Autocar on the growth of the model, VW brand head Herbert Diess said, "All cars normally grow a little, but where the Polo has grown most is in its wheelbase; this adds a lot of comfort but doesn't add a lot of size. The car has become wider and lower, so the car's proportions are improved. It's increased a little in size, but this has been fully translated to the inside; more leg room and a lot more bootspace." The new Polo will only be available in a five-door hatchback body style for the first time, with every single previous Polo being offered with a three-door hatch body style, This is part of the VW passenger car brand's cost-cutting and rationalisation strategy, with obvious savings to be made, and production efficiencies gained, by only offering one body style. Six different powertrains will be offered eventually, beginning with two variants of the normally aspirated three-cylinder 1.0-litre gasoline (petrol) powertrain, with 64 bhp and 74 bhp. There will also be two TSI turbocharged variants of the three-cylinder unit with 94 bhp and 113 bhp. There is also the new 1-5-litre four-cylinder direct injection gasoline engine with 148 bhp which was recently added to the revised Golf range, while next year the GTI variant will have a 197-bhp turbocharged variant of the EA888 powertrain. There will also only be one diesel unit, which will be a 1.6-litre common-rail unit with an 80bhp and 95bhp variant. The car also has a number of advanced driver assistance such as City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring systems as well as a tyre pressure monitoring function and a speed limiter. Buyers also have the option of specifying high-end features found on more expensive and bigger vehicles, including VW's Active Info Display digital instruments, while there are advanced connectivity features, including a wireless smartphone charging pad and keyless access.

About this article

The above article is from AutoIntelligence Daily by IHS Markit. AutoIntelligence Daily provides same-day analysis of automotive news, events and trends.​​ Get a free trial.