The new VW Polo aims to be the world’s most advanced compact car

The 2017 Volkswagen Polo. — Picture by Volkswagen via AFP
The 2017 Volkswagen Polo. — Picture by Volkswagen via AFP

BERLIN, June 16 — Revealed this morning at a special event in Berlin, the sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo is huge on cabin space, premium fittings and latest-generation driver safety technology, but with prices starting at just €12,975, it’s still small in terms of financial outlay.

The Polo has been in production for 42 years and five generations, and over that time it has helped to define and push the boundaries of the supermini or B-segment in Europe and around the world. As such it is a benchmark car, not just for VW, but for the industry as a whole and one that constantly achieves annual sales in excess of 700,000 models — that’s 100,000 more than Volvo has ever managed in a single year for its entire model range.

And the new car, officially launched today, is aiming to put even more space between itself and the competition. “This is a car that fits in perfectly with our times — both visually and technologically,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design Volkswagen Brand.

The exterior lines are an evolution of those found on the outgoing model and, at first glance, the biggest noticeable change will be the fact that this Polo will be the first ever that will only come in four-door, hatchback guise.

The car’s mantra has always been “small on the outside, big on the inside” and those subtle line changes disguise the fact that the new car is actually longer and wider to ensure comfort for four passengers and to take the trunk’s space up to 351 litres from the fifth-generation car’s 280 litres.

Under the hood buyers will be able to specify one of nine different engines ranging from 65-150hp in output or, in the case of the GTi model, an eye-watering 2-litre 200hp block complete with paddle-shift dual-clutch transmission.

Inside, there’s the option of a completely digital dashboard that ditches traditional dials and gauges. While in terms of assistance technologies, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert and semi-automated parking assist are all either options or standard equipment depending on trim level.

However, even the base model will come with pedestrian monitoring and emergency autonomous braking as standard equipment—a system the company is quick to point out has already reduced collisions for VW Golf owners (where the system is also standard) by 40 per cent.

“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 car, and it will remain number one,” said Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management.

The new Polo will go on sale following the 2017 Frankfurt motor show which this year opens its doors to the public on September 14. — AFP-Relaxnews

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