1990’s commercial for the VW Polo.

The Volkswagen Polo is a supermini car manufactured by Volkswagen.  It is sold in Europe and other markets worldwide in hatchback, saloon, coupé and estate variants.


History

As of 2009, there have been five separate generations of the Polo, usually identified by a “Series” or “Mark” number.

Some generations were facelifted mid way through production, with the updated versions known unofficially by an addition of the letter F to the mark number, e.g. Mark IIF. Some press and enthusiasts consider the facelifts to be separate models and hence have used the unofficial designations Polo Mark 1 to Mark 7 for previous generations. Each model of Polo is also identified by a two- or three-character Volkswagen Group Typ number. Official VW Polo history describes Mark I to Mark IV using either Roman numerals or Arabic numerals, with facelifted variants known as “Phase II” models.

The body style has been varied through the life of the car, originally as a hatchback which derived from the Audi 50. A saloon version was marketed as the Volkswagen Derby.

Volkswagen vehicles built off different platforms have carried the Polo name plate. For example the Volkswagen Polo Playa hatchback sold in Southern Africa in the late 1990s was a rebadged SEAT Ibiza which has a different body shell from the Mark III Polo sold in Europe at the same time. The current saloon is only available in China, Latin America and South Africa and other Southern Africa countries.


Polo Mark II (Typ 86C, 1981–1994)

The Mark II Facelift (referred as the Mark IIF, also unofficially known as the “Mark 3”) saw square headlights, enlarged and reshaped tail-lights, bigger bumpers and a new interior (dashboard and door trim). The three different body styles were maintained. As well as the cosmetic differences, under the skin the car received modifications to the chassis, suspension and brakes. The new Polo still had the 4-cylinder engine but now as well as the carburettor 1.0 L, a fuel injection model was available with single-point injection and all engines came standard with a catalytic converter to combat tightening European laws on car emissions. The saloon was only produced in Spain, and production of it ceased in 1992.

A clever feature on this version of the Polo was a stereo/cassette player unit which could be completely removed. This feature caught on well with buyers, who were able to remove it from the car as a security measure.

At the time of launch of the Mark IIF Polo, the highest performance model was the Polo GT. This featured a multi-point fuel injected version of the 1272 cc engine. This produced 75 bhp (56 kW) and had a quoted top speed of 107 mph (172 km/h). 0-60 figures from stand still stood at 11.1 seconds. Defining features of the GT include red piping in the bumpers, black overhead cloth, a rev counter and a red “GT” badge in the grille. This was succeeded by the launch of the G40 in May 1991, displacing the GT as the most powerful Polo at the time. The GT squareback was discontinued in 1992 due to poor sales in comparison with the coupé version.

Soon after the launch of the Mark IIF, another sporting model was added to the range — a new version of the supercharged G40, now as a full production model in all markets rather than the limited batch of Mark II G40s. As with the previous model, Volkswagen Motorsport modified G40 Cup cars were sold for racing in a one-make series, the Volkswagen Polo G40 Cup. Features that define the G40 from other Polo models at the time (on top of the GT) include a bee-sting aerial, BBS cross-spoke alloy wheels, Le Mans interior trim and front and rear red “G40” badges.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia.

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