The Volkswagen factory in Uitenhage is one of the three plants in the Volkswagen production network that assembles the Polo hatch. In South Africa, the Polo is produced for both the local and export markets. Since its launch in 2010, the Polo hatch has consistently been the second best-selling passenger car in South Africa, with its sibling the Polo Vivo being the best-selling. Close to 200 000 units have been sold since 2010. In 2017 alone, the Polo was bought by 22 916 customers in South Africa. Internationally the Polo has sold more than 14 million units to date, making the Polo one of the world’s most successful compact cars.
The new Polo, a completely redesigned generation of this best-selling car has a clear, powerful design, more interior room, more efficient engines and pioneering driver assistance systems.
The sixth generation Polo has a new exterior design, which makes the car appear sportier and more grown up. The new generation Polo is one of the world’s most advanced compact cars – this is reflected in advanced features such as the multitude of driver assistance systems that were previously reserved for the Golf and Passat class. The new Polo is also bigger than its predecessor in every dimension and offers more space for the driver and passengers, as well as significantly increased boot volume which increased from 280 to 350 litres.
In addition to the three standard Trendline, Comfortline and Highline trim lines, the special edition Polo beats (with features including a 300-watt sound system), R-Line package (with a sporty exterior featuring C-shaped front air curtains, side sills, boot spoiler, rear diffuser and 17-inch Bonneville alloy wheels) and the performance focused halo model, the Polo GTI, (available in South Africa in the second quarter), provide added variety.
The sixth generation Polo is the first Polo based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform.
This offers the ability to create significantly more dynamic proportions with a long wheelbase, short body overhangs and a sporty ratio of its key dimensions (longer, wider, lower overall height but improved headroom). The design has been made more powerful, masculine, charismatic and expressive than previously, which has resulted in a completely new vehicle.
MQB A0 as the basis. Like the Golf, Touran, Tiguan, Passat and Arteon, the Polo is now also based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB). Here the A0 version is adapted for particularly compact models. The MQB A0 has a whole armada of advantages. The compact proportions, which the design team also used as a starting point for a very dynamic look, immediately catch the eye. In addition, the technical advantages of the MQB can be found under the vehicle skin such as an optimised package, improved body stiffness, very good crash properties and an unchanged body weight – despite the greater size and enhanced safety features. Thanks to the use of MQB A0, comfort gains have also been made courtesy of the 92mm longer wheelbase, optimised entry and exit for rear seating and overall package improvements.
Larger and sportier. The positive effects of the MQB A0 on the car’s proportions and, in turn, on its design, are huge. The car has much more dynamic proportions and a significantly longer silhouette, because the wheelbase, exterior length and width have all grown while the car’s height remains nearly identical. What this translates to is an increased boot size that does not compromise on rear occupant space, which has also improved with great rear leg room. The design team took advantage of these realigned dimensions to put a-sporty, powerful, fresh and masculine Polo onto wheels of up to 18 inches in size.
Simply impressive. The dynamic effects of the MQB A0 on the proportions are reflected in the Polo’s new dimensions. The length of the compact Volkswagen has grown by 81mm to 4,053mm, and its wheelbase has also been lengthened by 81mm to 2,548mm. This means that the wheels are now positioned further to the front and rear, which also shortens the overhangs and gives the car a more powerful and sportier appearance. At the same time, the Polo is now 69mm wider and has an overall width of 1,751mm. Its height has been reduced by 8mm to 1,461mm.
Silhouette. The sixth generation Polo has become a more ‘masculine’ car, which generates a unique charisma from all perspectives with its new expressive design. The roof line is longer and therefore more elegant and also transitions into a roof spoiler at the rear. A fine line on the side body runs parallel to the roof line, visually lowering the centre of gravity. Key detailing of the Polo includes its long line of side windows – the Polo is the only Volkswagen to have a window line that terminates in a rise at both front and rear. This contour with the window integrated into the C-pillar was further developed and sharpened. The C-pillar in particular, which is now designed to reach forward more and is precisely sculpted, makes the car dynamic and appear to lunge forward, even when stationary.
Arrow-shaped double line. Emerging from the straight line of the window shoulder is another line that runs towards the front and into the headlights, making the Polo appear very long. Other new and important design features follow beneath this window line. An arrow-shaped double line, which is known as the tornado line, is a new design feature defining the Polo. The surface of this three-dimensional tornado line is – in the style of a shoulder section – slightly flared, and it finishes with a sharp downward undercut. The upper of these two double lines starts in the C-pillar and visually shoots forward into the front wings. The second, lower line, on the other hand, forms the undercut. It develops from the 3D graphic of the tail lights and also extends forward into the front wings, where it rises slightly, meeting the upper line.
Front end. The front end is designed to be much more emotional, dominant and sportier than that of the previous model. The headlights are now also available with LED technology. Together with the radiator grille, they form the new ‘face’ of the Polo that extends across the entire vehicle width. The bumper also emphasises vehicle width in its design elements. The bonnet now extends far downward into the ‘face’. The bumper has also been completely redesigned. The large glass surfaces of the fog lights and turn signal lights are eye-catching from the side of the car. They terminate outwards in three-dimensionally contoured corners. Between them there are two air intakes: a V-shaped one in the middle, and a narrow second intake that extends across the entire width.
Rear. The Polo’s rear bodywork design had already made it an inductee to the Automotive Hall of Fame by the time the fifth generation made its debut. Now the clean, very well-balanced overall architecture has been significantly further developed and – like the sides and front end – made even more precise and sharp. The new trapezoidal-shaped tail lights are worked into the shoulder section (optionally available as LED tail light clusters for the first time). A horizontal line beneath the tail lights on the rear hatch now flows into the bumper and also underscores the Polo’s width from this perspective. The new diffuser is now integrated into the bumper.
Trim, instrument panel and dashpad decors. Parallel to the standard features, the trim lines feature different interior trims, colours and fabrics. One of the most striking individualisation features is the instrument panel with the dashpad. New for this generation of Polo, this dashpad is offered with different coloured trims. Two dashpad coloured trims are available; Limestone Grey Metallic on the Trendline and Comfortline and Deep Iron Metallic on Highline.
The new proportions with a larger wheelbase and a longer silhouette – can be found in the interior as well. The newly-developed horizontal dashboard design focuses on the driver; for example, the dashboard and the centre console are slightly angled. All key modules are located on one visual axis, creating a coherent digital cockpit landscape.
A benchmark in this class. The new generation of the Active Info Display makes its debut in the Polo. The combines the new Active Info Display and the new 8-inch touchscreen to form a modern, glass-encased functional unit that creates an elegant appearance combined with simple controls similar to a high-end smartphone. Almost all the interior elements in the sixth generation Polo have been newly-designed. The aim was to design a fresh, dynamic and top-quality new generation of the Polo. The asymmetric centre console, painted in a fresh colour for visible integration, is an important connecting design element in the new cockpit. The Active Info Display is available in South Africa from launch and is optional on the Comfortline and Highline models.
New Polo – new colourfulness. The new Polo comes in 10 exterior colours; Pure White, Flash Red, Dark Petrol, Reflex Silver Metallic, Limestone Grey Metallic, Pale Copper, Reef Blue, Energetic Orange, Deep Black Pearl Effect and White Silver Metallic.
Interior colours and instrument panel decors are offered in the following colours’ Limestone Grey metallic, Deep Iron metallic, Velvet Red and Reef Blue.
Polo beats: Sporty, cool and top-quality – all in one. Several beats logos and the 300-watt sound system from the headphones producer “beats by Dr. Dre” reveal where the name came from. The ultra-modern colourful beats special edition of the new Polo is ideally suited to the lifestyle-oriented target group. The dashpad in “Velvet Red” is particularly impressive. A complex development process came up with a special anodized paint which produces a matt finish while still retaining a deep 3D optic effect. Wrapping up the package are the beats logos on the exterior B pillars, side sills emblazoned with beats audio branding and a striking seat upholstery design in Aqua Graphite, Velvet Red and Ceramique.
Cockpit is the centre of focus. A new dashboard and cockpit layout makes its way into Volkswagen compact models via the sixth generation Polo. The interior team started with a blank slate, departing entirely from the vertically-oriented dashboard layout of the previous model and developing instead a bold horizontal architecture. This architecture is primarily defined by the modules that are used on the dashboard. In the Polo, designers took the ‘form follows function’ motto very seriously. The interaction between the new Active Info Display and the infotainment systems, in particular, made it necessary to take new approaches. The new dashboard architecture began with the goal of locating the infotainment system much higher than before so that it would be in the driver’s direct line of sight. Because the display should visually merge with the instruments, it was also clear that the middle air vents had to migrate downward. All of this has resulted in a dashboard architecture that is refreshingly contemporary and charismatic – introducing an exciting new era of digitalisation and connectivity.
One visual and control axis, up high. All key modules – except for the air conditioning unit – have been integrated on the upper cross-panel of the dashboard. This cross-panel is continued up to the front doors and is trimmed with various colours, depending on selected options. The outer air vents are integrated on the far left and right. Located in the middle of the high-gloss black ‘island’ is the screen of the infotainment system. The only additional button in this area is the button for the hazard warning lights. To the right, the high-gloss black user control island merges into the level of the instruments. This creates a coherent digital cockpit landscape, especially in conjunction with the Active Info Display. Arranged on the next lower level are the air conditioning functions in the middle, and the lighting functions on the driver’s side. The horizontal dashboard is slightly angled towards the driver in the middle. This is also true of the centre console with the gear shift grip and the buttons for the various car handling functions.
1.0 TSI with 70 kW. The smallest TSI for the new Polo has an output of 70 kW (at 5,000 rpm). The turbocharged engine, which is standard for both the Polo Trendline and Comfortline, is both agile and efficient. The three-cylinder engine with torque of up to 175 Nm (2,000 rpm) accelerates the Polo to 100 km/h in just 10.8 seconds. With a top speed of 187 km/h it reaches the level of the first Golf GTI. These figures apply to both the 5-speed manual gearbox version and the optional 7-speed DSG version for this engine. The high agility is coupled with low combined fuel consumption of 4.5 l/100 km (corresponding to 103 g/km CO2). The 7-speed DSG has a fuel consumption of 4.7 l/100 km and emits 107 g/km of CO2.
1.0 TSI with 85 kW. The most powerful 1.0 TSI / three-cylinder for the Polo is the version with 85 kW. This engine will be launched with a 6-speed gearbox as standard and optionally with a 7-speed DSG. The turbocharged direct injection engine develops its peak output at 5,000 rpm. The lively four valves per cylinder engine delivers its maximum torque of 200 Nm from 2,000 rpm.
The new standard running gear forms the basis and makes its way into the range with the Polo’s switch to the modular transverse matrix (MQB A0).
Standard running gear. The basic configuration of the Polo running gear offers a high level of agility and excellent comfort. In the neutral setup of the running gear priority was given to maximum active safety. The front suspensions of the Polo that always comes with front-wheel drive feature coil spring struts and lower wishbones with a track-stabilising scrub radius. The front running gear additionally features an anti-roll bar. The front suspension consists of coil springs with telescoping compressed gas dampers; the elements are integrated in the spring struts. The rear running gear consists of a semi-independent twist-beam suspension with an integrated anti-roll bar. Gas-filled dampers and separate springs on the rear axle provide for optional suspension.
New Driver Assistance systems. New features for the Polo include the lane change system
Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, semi-automated Park Assist system for exiting parking spaces, the proactive occupant protection system and a manoeuvre braking function. The latter automatically protects against minor but often expensive parking dents. The optional Keyless Access locking and engine starting system, which is also new, can be used to unlock and start up the Polo.
Blind Spot Monitor. This system can play a role in preventing serious accidents. The Blind Spot Monitor utilises an LED symbol in the outer area of the door mirrors to alert the driver’s attention to vehicles located in the blind spot on the side of the Polo and vehicles approaching from the rear. As soon as that is the case, the symbol lights up, and if the driver activates the turn indicator in the direction of the detected vehicle the symbol flashes as an additional warning. This lowers the risk of hazardous lane-changing situations. The system, which is automatically activated from a speed of 30 km/h, uses radar sensors to monitor an area of approximately 20 metres around the vehicle. When the Blind Spot Monitor is ordered, it automatically comes with Rear Traffic Alert, which revolutionises reversing out of parking spaces.
Rear Traffic Alert. Rear Traffic Alert further improves safety and is offered in combination with the Blind Spot Monitor. Rear Traffic Alert takes much of the risk out of reversing from driveways and parking spaces that are at right angles to the road. The system not only ‘recognises’ stationary or moving vehicles directly behind the Polo, but also vehicles approaching from the side which are barely visible to the driver. The radar-based sensor module even detects objects at distances of up to 40 metres and recognises objects moving at speeds of 4 km/h or above. If a collision is imminent, the system outputs an acoustic warning. If the driver or third party does not take action to correct the situation, or if there is a risk of immediate collision, the Rear Traffic Alert system automatically initiates a brake intervention.
Driver Alert System. This system, which is standard from the Polo Comfortline, detects waning concentration of the driver and warns him or her over a period of five seconds with an acoustic signal and a visual text in the instrument cluster that recommends taking a break. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once.
Multi Collision Braking (Automatic Post-Collision Braking System). Just around a quarter of all accidents that result in personal injury involve multiple collisions. The Polo’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System can help to avoid secondary collisions or at least reduce their severity. After an initial collision, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically initiates a braking action – within system limits – even before the driver can react. This can reduce the severity of the accident and ideally prevent secondary collisions.
Driving Profile Selection. This feature is standard on the Highline. In driving profile selection the driver can choose from a total of four programmes: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. In the Eco driving mode, engine control, the air conditioning unit and other auxiliary systems are regulated in a manner that ensures optimal fuel efficiency. In vehicles fitted with DSG, a coasting function can also be used with the Eco mode: if the driver releases the accelerator pedal – for example, on downhill stretches – the DSG disengages and the engine idles. This enables optimal utilisation of the Polo’s kinetic energy. In Sport mode, on the other hand, damping of the adjustable dampers is increased (with Sport Select running gear), while engine response and shift points of the DSG are configured to be more dynamic.
Park Assist. This assistance system automatically guides the Polo into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, and it can also reverse out of parallel parking spaces. It is activated by pressing a button on the centre console. Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked. If Park Assist detects via the ultrasonic sensors a parking space that is large enough (40 cm of manoeuvring room, front and rear suffices), assisted parking can begin: the driver engages reverse gear and only needs to accelerate and brake (an automatic braking function assists in the event of insufficient space). The car takes care of the steering.
Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator. The Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator uses the wheel speed sensors of the ABS: in the event of tyre pressure loss, the rolling radius of the wheel concerned decreases and the wheel turns faster at the same vehicle speed. The system detects insufficient air pressure and warns the driver. However, the Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator does not relieve the driver of the obligation to regularly check the tyre pressures.
World premiere of the new Active Info Display. The Polo will launch as the first Volkswagen and the first Group model to offer a new generation of Active Info Display. Volkswagen interface designers have systematically advanced the next generation of the Active Info Display (11.7-inch display diagonal) and have taken its high-quality graphics (133 dpi / resolution 1,280 x 480 pixels) and functional range to a new level. Consequently, the display offers better graphic performance, higher pixel density, greater brightness and contrast, more intense colours and fewer conventional indicator lamps. Using a ‘View button’ on the multifunction steering wheel, the Polo driver can now also switch between three basic layouts, easily and quickly. The Active Info Display is optional across the range excluding Trendline models and is available in South Africa from launch.
Completely new look and feel. The high-quality graphics convey a completely new look and feel with their progressive design. The crucial aspect here is that Volkswagen has fundamentally redefined fully digital instruments. The interface designers utilised the digital display to integrate additional information levels into the instruments. The graphics of the round instruments (dials), such as the rev counter and speedometer, however, follow the appearance of their analogue counterparts. At the next stage of digital instruments, interface designers have departed from the analogue look entirely and created a consistently digitalised world of instruments. They developed three basic digital layouts between which the driver can toggle with the ‘View button’.
New cockpit environment (Available in South Africa from launch). A new, digital and interactive cockpit environment has been created in the interplay of the Active Info Display and infotainment system. Volkswagen is introducing the latest generation of infotainment systems in the Polo which have display sizes ranging from 6.5 to 8.0 inches. Specifically, these are the Composition Colour (6.5-inch radio-infotainment), Composition Media (8.0-inch radio-infotainment with CD player) and Discover Media (8.0-inch radio-navigation infotainment with CD player). The 8.0-inch systems are glass-encased units.
Composition Colour. The Composition Colour infotainment system boasts a touch-sensitive 6.5-inch colour display (16.5 cm screen diagonal), good resolution (800 x 480 pixels) and a design that immediately appeals to users of smartphones and tablets. Its surface is clear and elegant. In addition to two rotary/push-button switches, there are six flat menu buttons. Its 2 x 20 watts of audio power is output over four loudspeakers. If six loudspeakers are installed in the car, the power is increased to
4 x 20 watts. Along with the FM radio, the infotainment system also offers an integrated SD card interface over which music can be played back in MP3 or WMA format. Like the next larger Composition Media system, the Composition Colour is also equipped with a diversity antenna; there are several antennas, and signal noise can be filtered out by linking them. A USB interface is offered as an option (Apple compatible).The touchscreen on this system is pressure sensitive.
Composition Media. The Composition Media features a glass surface (glass design) with an 8-inch colour display. This glass surface creates a tablet-like look. In addition to two rotary/push-button controls, the system has eight function buttons. The sound of the infotainment system (4 x 20 watts) is output over six loudspeakers. Along with the SD card and AUX-IN interfaces, it also offers a USB port (compatible with Apple), a Bluetooth connection and a CD drive. The touchscreen on this system is touch sensitive.
Discover Media. Discover Media is the radio navigation system for the Polo. It is based on the Composition Media infotainment system and includes additional navigation functionality. Updates to the navigation software are provided free-of-charge for the first five years. In addition, this includes a licence for Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’ services which is also free-of-charge.
App Connect. The latest generation modular infotainment matrix creates the right conditions for connecting the Polo with today’s Apple and Android smartphones via App Connect. Along with MirrorLinkÒ (Android), App Connect now also integrates Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (Google) into the infotainment systems. Please note that Google has not released Android Auto for the South African market.
The new Polo will be available in the three trim lines Trendline, Comfortline and Highline and also as a special Beats version (with a 300-watt Beats sound system). The Polo GTI will be launched in South Africa in the second quarter.
Exterior – features distinguishing the different versions. Fine details distinguish the exterior of the three trim lines Trendline, Comfortline and Highline from one another. The Polo Comfortline is identified by a chrome strip in the radiator grille between the headlights and colour-coded mirrors and door handles. The Polo Highline has additional chrome strips in the lower ventilation grille. Features upgrading the Polo beats include black painted exterior mirror housings, decorative decals on the bonnet and roof and ‘beats’ badging on the B-pillars. The R-Line package (optional on Comfortline and Highline) features a sport front bumper with gloss black C-shaped air curtains, side sills, gloss black rear boot spoiler and a sporty rear diffuser.
Further exterior identifying features include the wheel and tyre combinations. The Polo Trendline is supplied with 14-inch steel wheel with wheel covers, customers opting for the Polo Comfortline automatically get the configuration of 15-inch alloy wheels with Salou wheel trims (15-inch Sassari alloy wheels are a no cost option) and the Polo Highline is fitted with 16-inch ‘Las Minas’ alloy wheels as standard. The Polo Beats is fitted with 16-inch rims (‘Torsby’ alloy wheels) and finally the R-Line is equipped with 17-inch Bonneville alloy wheels. The R-Line Package is only available in South Africa from the beginning of the second quarter.
Trendline. The Trendline base version is very well equipped. Standard features include assistance systems such as the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System as well as LED daytime running lights and front and rear curtain airbags. Front Electric Windows, Composition Colour infotainment system with four speakers and a Connectivity Package featuring Bluetooth and USB also come as standard.
Comfortline. At the Comfortline trim level, additional details are included such as
Multi-function Display “Plus”, the Composition Colour infotainment system with six speakers, leather multi-function steering wheel, Driver Alert System and front and rear electric windows.
Highline. Those who select the Highline get features such as Composition Media infotainment system, App Connect, Voice Control, Sport seats, Cruise Control with speed limiter and white LED ambient lighting (front doors and instrument panel).
beats. The new edition of the successful Polo beats special model has a 300-watt sound system from legendary US audio specialist ‘beats’ (by Dr. Dre) and a whole array of customised features on board. The newly-designed amplifier and subwoofer are housed at the bottom of the boot to the left hand side of the spare wheel well, where a full-size spare wheel is housed.
The Comfortline and Highline trim versions can be further personalised by choosing the R-Line package.
R-Line. The ‘R-Line’ package makes the Polo even more dynamic with such features as 17-inch alloy wheels (‘Bonneville’), a large, sporty front bumper and, at the rear, a diffuser with chrome trims and a roof spoiler. The Polo with R-Line package also has wrap-around black sill trim strips which visually press the car down to the road. The R-Line Package is only available in South Africa from the beginning of the second quarter.
Convenience and comfort features from the Golf class. The Polo can be further personalised and upgraded to satisfy individual budgets and tastes. New in the options programme are features such as high-intensity full-LED headlights, LED tail light clusters and one of the largest panoramic sunroofs in its class (opening is 10 mm wider and 20 mm longer than before). The new Polo can be personalised to create a car that is practically one-of-a-kind by choosing from many different trim lines, colours, interiors, wheels and optional features.