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The best-selling Volkswagen Polo gets a new look and is loaded with technology.

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The popular Volkswagen Polo has a new look. The Volkswagen Polo, which was first launched in South Africa in 1996, has continued to be a sales success over the past 25 years.

The facelifted model is set to continue the success of the Polo brand in the local market. “The Volkswagen Polo is South Africa’s second best-selling passenger car after the Polo Vivo. In 2021, 16 454 Polos have been sold in the local market which translates to a share of 22.6% in the A0 Hatch segment,” said Steffen Knapp, Head of the Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand.

The Polo, which is built in Kariega in the Eastern Cape, is exported to all right-hand-drive markets worldwide. Volkswagen also supplements production for left-hand-drive markets. The Kariega plant is also the sole manufacturer of the Polo GTI. Over 80% of total Polo volume is exported to international markets worldwide. To date, more than 18 million Polos have been sold globally. In South Africa, 78 848 units of the sixth generation Polo have been sold since the vehicle was launched in 2018.

A sporty exterior with a signature lighting design

The new Polo now sports a new exterior design. The bumper and tailgate have been given a new look, as have the headlights and tail light clusters which come standard with LED technology. The Polo has a distinctive day time and night time light signature which includes a new LED light strip along the radiator grille in conjunction with the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights. The new Polo has taken this design cue from the ID models as well as the Golf – these were the first Volkswagens to have an LED crossbar in the front.

The new Polo is available in eight exterior colours: Ascot Grey (new), Smoky Grey Metallic (new), Kings Red Metallic (new), Vibrant Violet Metallic (new), Pure White, Reflex Silver Metallic, Reef Blue Metallic and Deep Black Pearl Effect.

A digitalised interior now available with wireless App-Connect

The interior of the Polo now boasts a Digital Cockpit, a re-designed multi-function steering wheel, new-generation infotainment systems and wireless App-Connect (optional feature). The dashboard of the Polo is characterised by a horizontal design. All modules except the air conditioning are integrated into the dashboard’s upper crossbar with the infotainment system screen located in the centre. The Digital Cockpit and infotainment system create a coherent digital cockpit landscape. In the R-Line and Polo GTI derivatives, the two-zone climatronic air conditioner now has touch panels and sliders which replace the knobs and buttons in the previous generation.

The Polo range is available with a choice of three infotainment systems; Composition Colour with a 6.5-inch display (standard in the 70kW and 85kW Polo and Life), Composition Media with an 8.0-inch display (standard in the 85kW R-Line and Polo GTI) and an 8.0-inch Discover Media system with navigation, wireless App-Connect, Voice Control, inductive mobile charging and a multi-colour Digital Cockpit Pro (optional feature on the Life, R-Line and GTI models).

The Polo, now available with IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist

The Polo is the first vehicle in its class to be offered with the optional IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist feature. Travel Assist brings together the functions of the new predictive ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) and Lane Assist to create a new system which enables semi-automated driving. ACC ensures that the Polo automatically maintains the speed selected by the driver. Using radar sensor technology, it detects if a slower vehicle appears in front of it and then brakes the Polo, therefore always keeping a safe following distance. If there are no longer any cars in front, the Polo accelerates again to the desired speed. The lane keeping system Lane Assist scans the area in front of the Polo and detects lane markings and steers correctively as soon as any unintentional movement out of the lane is detected. When IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist is active, the Polo brakes, accelerates and steers automatically within the system limits. This semi-automated assist system relieves the strain on drivers, especially on long journeys.

Optional driver assistance systems in the new Polo include Front Assist and Pedestrian Monitoring. In its class, the new Polo is a leader when it comes to the innovative spectrum of driver assistance systems on offer.

New naming convention for the Polo specification lines

The Polo has moved to Volkswagen’s new naming convention. Previously, the Polo was available in the Trendline (base model), Comfortline (mid-level) and Highline (premium) versions. The new naming convention features the Polo version (base model), Polo Life (mid-level) and R-Line (premium). The new Polo will also be available in a GTI derivative.

Polo – entry level derivative, previously known as the Trendline

The entry-level Polo boasts LED headlights, LED tail light clusters and a new multi-function steering wheel. In the entry-level Polo there is a range of features which come standard; App-Connect, Composition Colour system, 14-inch steel wheels, a Bluetooth mobile phone interface, electronically adjusted and heated exterior mirrors, electric windows, door handles and exterior mirror caps in the vehicle colour as well as a high quality dashboard panel. The seat covers in the entry-level Polo are in a ‘Basket’ style fabric with a dark Liquorice Black dashboard trim. The entry level Polo can be customised with 15-inch Essex alloy wheels and a smoker’s package.

Polo Life – previously known as the Comfortline

The Polo Life includes additional standard features such as 15-inch Essex alloy wheels, a centre armrest with an additional USB-C port in the middle of the passenger compartment and leather trim on the steering wheel and gear knob. The seats in the Polo Life are upholstered in the high-quality ‘Slash’ fabric with matching interior Lava Stone Black décor. Optional features in the Polo Life are the panoramic sunroof,

IQ. Light LED matrix headlights, 16-inch Torsby alloy wheels, Composition Media system with inductive mobile charging, Discover Media system (with navigation, wireless App-Connect, Voice Control, inductive mobile charging and the multi-colour Digital Cockpit Pro), Rear view Camera, Comfort Park Package (keyless entry, Park Assist and Rear view camera), Safety Package for Manual (Travel Assist consisting of Adaptive Cruise Control, Speed Limiter and Lane Assist, multi-function Camera, Pedestrian Monitoring and Front Assist), Safety Package for DSG (Travel Assist consisting of Adaptive Cruise Control, Speed Limiter and Lane Assist, multi-function Camera, Pedestrian Monitoring and Front Assist), NCAP Package (Power adjustable, folding and heated exterior mirrors, Lane Assist, multi-function Camera and Front Assist), keyless entry and a smoker’s package.

Polo R-Line – previously a package option on the Comfortline and Highline

The R-Line’s bumpers are distinguished from all other Polo versions by their striking R design. In the front bumper, the gloss black cross and longitudinal bars of the air intakes convey a unique and dynamic character. A diffuser with chrome integrated exhaust panels in the lower part of the rear also distinguishes this model from the Polo and Life equipment versions. Standard features in the R-Line include 16-inch Valencia alloy wheels, two-zone climatronic air conditioner and the Composition Media system with inductive mobile charging. The dashboard trim is a Grey Anodised Matte with ‘R-Line’ fabric seats.

Optional features in the Polo R-Line are the panoramic sunroof,

17-inch Bergamo alloy wheels, IQ. Light LED matrix headlights, Discover Media System (with navigation, wireless App-Connect, Voice Control, inductive mobile charging and the multi-colour Digital Cockpit Pro), ‘beats’ sound system, Rear view Camera, Comfort Park Package (keyless entry, Park Assist and Rear view camera), Safety Package (Travel Assist consisting Adaptive Cruise Control, Speed Limiter and Lane Assist, multi-function Camera, Pedestrian Monitoring and Front Assist), NCAP Package (Power adjustable, folding and heated exterior mirrors, Lane Assist, multi-function Camera and Front Assist), keyless entry and a smoker’s package.

Polo GTI – the halo derivative of the range

The Polo GTI leads the range in terms of power, technology and sportiness. The iconic design features legendary GTI insignia, such as the red strip in the radiator grille, the honeycomb structure of the air intake grille, red brake callipers and GTI lettering on the radiator grille. The new Polo GTI is equipped with sports suspension that is specially tuned for the vehicle. This lowers the body by 15mm and combines solid driving dynamics, reliable neutrality and very good driving comfort typical for GTI models. Driving profile selection is standard in the new Polo GTI and offers four driving modes of Eco, Individual, Normal and Sport. Within defined limits, the modes allow the driver to make individual settings that have a direct effect on vehicle handling. The Polo GTI is only available in four exterior colours: Pure White, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Kings Red Metallic and Reef Blue Metallic.

The interior of the Polo GTI is just as unmistakable as its exterior. The dominating colours in the interior are black, red, grey and chrome. As typical for GTI models, the roof pillars and headliner are Titanium Black. The trim on the dash panel is now finished in a striking Kings Red glossy colour.

Standard features in the new Polo GTI are the two-zone climatronic air conditioning, IQ. Light LED matrix headlights, 17-inch Milton Keynes alloy wheels and the Composition Media system with inductive mobile charging.

Optional features in the Polo GTI include the panoramic sunroof, Deep Iron Grey dashboard trim, 18-inch Faro alloy wheels, Discover Media System (with navigation, wireless App-Connect, Voice Control, inductive mobile charging and the multi-colour Digital Cockpit Pro), ‘beats’ sound system, leather seat package, Rear view Camera, Comfort Park Package (keyless entry, Park Assist and Rear view camera), Safety Package (Travel Assist consisting of Adaptive Cruise Control, ‘stop-and-go’ Speed Limiter and Lane Assist, Pedestrian Monitoring and Front Assist), NCAP Package (Power adjustable, folding and heated exterior mirrors, Lane Assist, and Front Assist), keyless entry and a smoker’s package.

Three turbo-charged petrol engines available at launch.

In South Africa, the new Volkswagen Polo will be available in three turbo-charged petrol engines.

The 1.0 TSI 70kW engine will be available in the Polo and Polo Life specifications. The three-cylinder engine, which is coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission, delivers 70kW of power and maximum torque of 175Nm. It takes 10.8 seconds to complete the zero to 100km/h sprint.

The 1.0 TSI 85kW DSG engine is only available in the Polo Life and Polo R-Line specifications. The three-cylinder engine, which is coupled with a 7-speed DSG transmission, delivers 85kW of power and maximum torque of 200Nm. It takes 11.3 seconds to complete the zero to 100km/h sprint.

Like all its predecessors, the new Polo GTI is a front-wheel drive. The 2.0 TSI turbo-charged engine delivers a power output of 147kW. The maximum torque is 320Nm at 1 500 to 4 500 rpm. It completes the zero to 100km/h sprint in just 6.7 seconds.

Pricing for the new Polo range in South Africa will be confirmed closer to the launch date.

The new Polo will retail from Volkswagen dealers in January 2022.

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