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VW scoop special: new Polo (2009)

Published: 15 December 2008

VW’s plain Jane Polo will undergo an ice-cool makeover when the next generation breaks cover in 2009. ‘With the new Polo,’ declares VW design boss Walter de Silva, ‘we are going to erase the past.’ Which is good news, after a string of underachieving boxes that sold more on badge than brio. Highlights of the new 2009 Polo include a sleek Scirocco-inspired three-door coupe – and spin-offs including a people carrier, cabriolet and saloon variants.

Does the new VW Polo get Volkswagen’s fancy new MQB chassis architecture?

Sadly not – it sits on an uprated version of the current PQ25 layout, which itself harks back to the previous-gen Polo. But VW promises the usual improvements to ride, handling and refinement. The three- and five-door hatches arrive here in 2009 after a Geneva debut, followed by the saloon – initially for India and Russia only, but it could also be sold in North America and Southern Europe if demand justifies.

This is followed by a hot Polo GTI with DSG and 170bhp from its 1.4 TSI and a Polo Bluemotion II, which reportedly undercuts the 100g/km of CO2 barrier with a 1.2 three-cylinder diesel rated at 75bhp.

What about the Polo mini people carrier and cabrio?

A last-minute redesign means the Polo MPV (currently codenamed Raum, German for ‘room’) will land in late 2011. It gets a longer wheelbase –  2552mm versus 2470mm for the other versions – and at just over four metres long features a decent 395-litre boot and decent family accommodation.

The cooling economic climate and tepid sales of the Audi A3 rag-top and VW Eos have put a hold on the Polo cabriolet (originally due in late 2011).

Should we expect VW’s typically wide range of power and drivetrains?

Oh yes. Petrol engines in the new 2009 Polo include a 1.2 with 60bhp and 70bhp outputs, a 1.4 with 85bhp, 1.2 TSI with 105bhp and a 170bhp 1.4 TSI. The diesel line-up features that Bluemotion II 1.2 and a trio of 1.6s with 75bhp, 90bhp and 105bhp. Smaller engines get five-speed manuals, bigger hitters get seven-cog DSG double-clutch transmissions.

>> Come back to CAR Online every day this week for a series of exclusive VW scoops lifting the lid on the next generation of Volkswagens