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Ybee­nou know you’ve been trav­el­ling too much when you for­get to check your air tick­ets. The mo­tor­ing scene has mad­ness these past few weeks, with man­u­fac­tur­ers rac­ing to launch end-of-year prod­ucts be­fore busi­ness shuts down for the Christ­mas break. By last Satur­day, I had stopped both­er­ing to even un­pack, board­ing nine planes in just seven days for events re­lated to cars.

I’m nor­mally a fas­tid­i­ously or­gan­ised trav­eller, so you can only imag­ine my shock as the Love of my Life and I ar­rived at Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Air­port and dis­cov­ered that the tick­ets we clung to said we were sup­posed to be board­ing in Joburg.

Hav­ing re­cently re­lo­cated to the Mother City and trav­el­ling to Jozi weekly, it was easy for VW, which had or­gan­ised a cou­ples’ week­end away in Port Al­fred via Port El­iz­a­beth to show­case their newly launched Volk­swa­gen T6 Kombi and Car­avelle, to be as con­fused as I was about where I ac­tu­ally live.

More shock – I’d got the de­par­ture flight times to­tally wrong. Our much­needed loved-up week­end away in the iconic T6 lay in tat­ters as the sounds of de­part­ing planes mocked our flight­less state. As I sat on top of the lug­gage trol­ley, crum­pled up in a heap of mas­cara-smudged tears, VW called, con­fused about why we’d not ar­rived with the Joburg crew in PE.

Within min­utes of hear­ing my tale, we were re­booked on a 1pm flight to PE, where we were told a VW would be wait­ing for us to drive off to the Royal St An­drews Ho­tel in Port Al­fred.

I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced enough de­tours in my life to know that ev­ery dark cloud does in fact have a sil­ver lin­ing.

Touch­ing down in a windy PE, our knight in shin­ing red ar­mour came in the form of a brand-new man­ual VW Polo GTI.

Soon, our air­port de­ba­cle was for­got­ten and we sped out of PE in our 1.8-litre, tur­bopetrol, 4-cylin­der en­gine babe. I purred with plea­sure as we felt 141kW/320 Nm of power take us through Eastern Cape scenic won­der.

Although not as sharp in shape as her main ri­vals – the new Ford Fi­esta and Peu­geot 208 GTi – the up-mar­ket Polo of­fers five doors com­pared with both the com­peti­tors’ three.

There was plenty more on of­fer in­side to up my ex­cite­ment: park-dis­tance con­trol, a rear-as­sist cam­era, Cli­ma­tronic air con­di­tion­ing, and the Com­po­si­tion Me­dia Sys­tem with a colour touch screen and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity.

And then, of course, there was the Sport Select func­tion, which gave us that ex­tra oomph of 0-100km/h in 6.7 sec­onds as we revved her up to make up lost time.

Best of all, with char­ac­ter­is­tic VW re­li­a­bil­ity, no mat­ter what the of­ten wet tar threw at us, aided by gor­geous new 17-inch Parabol­ica al­loys, the ride felt very re­spon­sive and firm.

It took just over an hour for us to get to Port Al­fred – in time for the T6 busi­ness pre­sen­ta­tion.

The con­fer­ence room was packed with mo­tor­ing journos and spouses as ex­cited as we were to hear de­tails of this iconic pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle, much loved by South Africans since 1955 – when the first Type 2 rolled off the as­sem­bly lines in Uiten­hage.

And what a feast of a range there is on of­fer as we go into 2016, in­clud­ing the Pick Up, Panel Van and Crew Bus – and hot-sell­ing pas­sen­ger trans­port, the Kombi and the top-of-the-range Car­avelle. There’s am­ple to choose from, with both short- and long-wheel base de­riv­a­tives, pas­sen­ger and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing five- and six-speed man­ual gear­boxes, as well as the seven-speed DSG trans­mis­sion. What re­ally stands out in the styling de­part­ment are the strong hor­i­zon­tal lines and sharp-edged front treat­ment with sexy stan­dard day­time run­ning lights and stand­out LED head­lights on up-mar­ket mod­els. The in­te­rior is packed with plenty of of­fer­ings, like a new steer­ing wheel, many re­designed stor­age ar­eas, pow­er­ad­justable mir­rors and height-ad­justable driver’s seat, as well as a stylish, user­friendly new touch screen in­fo­tain­ment dis­play.

Both the Kombi and Car­avelle are packed with new safety of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing a fa­tigue-de­tec­tion sys­tem and mul­ti­col­li­sion brak­ing sys­tem.

My De­cem­ber work is cut out for me if I’m to go through the full Trans­porter range.

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