Polo Swings with the Golf Club
The popular Polo makes the move to the MQB platform, grows, and becomes even more modern for 2018
SMALL IS THE NEW BIG. EVERY MANUFACTURER IS TRYING to do more with less, and while engines are becoming smaller and more powerful, cars themselves seem to be growing in size and becoming prepped to take on more challenges.
With the move to the Modular Transverse Matrix (Modularer Querbaukasten in German, or MQB) platform, the Polo not only gains major expansion options (literally) in terms of a parts bin that serves some of the most popular car models, but also marks it out as an even higher quality offering. No compact hatchback can boast of siblings on its platform like the Polo can.
What that boils down to is this: the Polo is larger, more stylish, spacious, and advanced, packing even more modern safety, communication and entertainment technology. Size-wise, it’s now 4,053 millimetres long, 1,751 mm wide, and 1,446 mm tall, running a 2,564-mm wheelbase. That means more cabin space and a larger 351-litre boot. The contemporary and masculine front, complete with optional full-LED headlamps, flows into a curvier ‘tornado’ double-line side profile with wheel-wells that can hold as much as 18-inchers.
Inside, there’s a vast improvement in cabin room, with a 6.5-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen display taking centre-stage. An optional panoramic roof is also on the cards, and opens wider than before, adding to the airy feel of the cabin. As many as 14 colour choices will be offered, at least internationally. Powering the car will be a slew of new petrol engines ( see
box), with the diesel options in India likely to be the familiar 1.5 pair. The 1.5 TSI EVO, a petrol running the Miller cycle, allows for 150 PS as well as a coasting function that saves 0.4 litres/100 km, which can potentially save a full litre per 100 km when paired to a more efficiency-focused driver. Manual and DSG automatic transmissions are also on offer. All combinations are front-wheel driven and there’s no mention of 4MOTION for either driveline yet. Hybrid models are in the offing as well.
The new Polo coming to India would depend entirely on when VW can migrate to the MQB platform at their facility at Chakan, near Pune. The number of models on the MQB platform sold in India is in double-digit figures, spanning three brands — VW, Škoda and Audi — and several body-styles. The Polo won’t qualify for the excise duty benefits for ‘small cars’ in India if it retains its 4,053-mm length. Let’s see how it goes down.