Volkswagen is set to unveil the all-new VW Polo in Berlin tomorrow. Here are ten things we know about the 2017 VW Polo.
1. Sixth Generation of the European supermini
The VW Polo was introduced in 1975 and has sold more than 14 million copies to the date. With the next full makeover, the European supermini will move to its sixth generation.
The sixth-generation VW Polo will utilise the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform as its basis. Specifically, the VW Polo Mk6 will ride on the A0 version of this platform, which debuted in fifth-gen Seat Ibiza earlier this year. The MQB A0, a multi-material platform that uses advanced construction techniques, will bring about 70 kg weight saving, open the doors of the Polo to alternative powertrain technology, higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions from same engine sizes, and driver assistance technologies reserved to bigger Volkswagens.
3. Evolutionary design
The 2017 VW Polo will feature an evolutionary design with inspiration from the VW Golf. Spy photos have revealed that the all-new model looks more mature, thanks to the increased length and width, and cleaner lines. Reports say that the all-new VW Polo will measure 4,053 mm (+81 mm) in length, 1,751 mm (+69 mm) in width and 1,446 mm (-97 mm) in height, and have a wheelbase of 2,564 mm (+94 mm).
4. 5-door only
While the outgoing VW Polo is available in 3-door, the new generation VW Polo will sell only in the 5-door version. Discontinuing the 3-door is a cost-cutting measure, and is a direct response to the market needs, and not made in the wake of the dieselgate emissions scandal. Ex-Volkswagen CEO Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn confirmed this decision at the Annual Media Conference and Investor Conference in March 2015, saying that it would save Volkswagen triple-digit millions through lower ramp-up costs and cut down the number of components.
The 2017 VW Polo will have an improved interior with more cabin space and better quality of materials. The increased dimensions will address the issue of low rear-seat legroom, and improvement in boot space that the German media estimates at 330 litres. Teasers show the presence of a sunroof that should enhance perceived cabin roominess, while some panels in the dashboard and door will have exterior colour coordination for a funky look.
The VW Polo will advance in technology with the lifecycle change. The latest infotainment systems of Volkswagen will find their place in the small hatchback. All units will have a colour display, and the top-end unit may have a 9.5-inch touchscreen display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration compatibility are a given, and Volkswagen may stretch beyond to offer built-in Internet for enhanced connectivity. The 12.3-inch Active Info Display fully digital instrument cluster is also expected, albeit as an option or at the top of the variant walk.
The 2017 VW Polo range could start with the 75 PS 1.0-litre MPI naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine to keep the entry price low. Volkswagen may offer multiple output variants of this engine. The Group's latest turbocharged petrol and diesel engines will form the middle order, including (95 PS/115 PS) 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder petrol, the (150 PS) 1.5-litre TSI Evo four-cylinder petrol and (80 PS/95 PS) 1.6-litre TDI four-cylinder diesel units varying as per the market. The next-gen VW Polo GTI will follow next year powered by a circa-200 PS 2.0-litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, a new report said.
Volkswagen will manufacture the new generation VW Polo at the Navarra factory in Spain. Later, the company could start producing in South Africa, where the outgoing VW Polo was one of the best-selling cars last year.
9. European launch
The 2017 VW Polo's European launch would take place later this year with showrooms set to receive the first units in August or September.
10. Indian launch
The next-gen VW Polo's India launch is uncertain, as the Volkswagen Chakan plant will need a major upgrade to manufacture and localise the MQB platform, which some insiders say is very expensive for India. A possibility is that our market would get a different next-gen VW Polo based on Tata Motors' AMP platform, now that the two companies have formed an alliance, although we still await an announcement confirming the Indian subsidiary's plans. For the next couple of years, expect the current Polo to march on with special editions, body kits and minor look changes.