In 2009 India was introduced to the concept of a “hot hatch” when Volkswagen India launched the Polo. Prior to that we Indians modified hatchbacks sold in the country, by adding a host of power and sound boosting accessories.
The Polo apart from being fun-to-drive, had oodles of power and came with segment first performance capabilities. In the decade since, lots of competitors have come along, but the Polo still stands timeless in design and performance.
This premium hatchback that quickly stepped up to be the safest carline with a 4-star global NCAP rating for adult occupant protection. One of the biggest contributions the Polo has made to the industry is its class leading safety features. For the longest time, the Polo was the only premium hatchback to have dual airbags and ABS as standard within its segment.
Over the years, the Polo has been launched in various petrol and diesel engine options starting with the 1.6L MPI and 1.2L TDI followed by the GT TSI, GT TDI and the powerful, performance oriented 1.8L TSI Polo GTI version. In the last 10 years, this fun-to-drive hatch has witnessed eight engine options. Thus, allowing customers a wide range of engine options to choose from.
To celebrate this momentous occasion Volkswagen India had invited Rotormouth along with other auto media to drive from Mumbai to Soma Vineyards in Nashik to celebrate #10YEARSOFPOLO.
We drove there in an assortment of different VW models that are sold in India. Soma Vineyards is one of the more recent entrants in the wine business in India. Located in Nashik the wine growing region of India, Soma Vineyards has become very popular with wine connoisseurs across the country.
To welcome us were present 4 legendary models of the Volkswagen Polo. Models that had gained a huge following with car enthusiasts worldwide.
The Polo Mk II…The second-generation Polo called home to two manufacturing facilities present in Wolfsburg, Germany and Pamplona, Spain. The carline was manufactured between 1981 and 1994 in three different body styles which includes a 3-door hatchback, 2-door sedan called the Polo classic and a new 3-door hatchback with a near vertical rear window (Coupé). The Polo Mk II was powered by a range of engines from 1.1L and 1.3L diesel versions to a 1.3L and 1.4L gasoline variant. Over the period the Mk II sold 2.7 million units including supercharged GT40.
The Polo GT TSI…Designed to be a head turner, the Polo GT is known for its legendary performance and impeccable fuel efficiency. The carline holds a lot more respect with its GT badge making the look and feel a cut above the rest. With a revolutionary 1.2L TSI engine under its body, it strikes a fine balance between power and efficiency along with a 7-speed DSG transmission. The car boasts of a 105PS of horsepower and 175 Nm torque. It delivers a fuel consumption of 24.49km/l
The Cross Polo…Launched in 2013, the Cross Polo is a crossover version of the Polo hatchback. The carline depicted a bold, sporty design flair, which appealed to customers with active lifestyles and a taste for adventure. The Cross Polo was available in three variants – 1.2L diesel and petrol engine options mated to a 5-speed manual transmission followed by a 1.5L TDI along with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
The Fast and Furious Polo GTIIn 2016, Volkswagen launched a carline for the true-blue enthusiasts. Introducing the GTI philosophy to the Indian market with the brands’ hottest hatchback Polo GTI. The powerful carline comes equipped with a 1.8L TSI coupled with Volkswagen’s globally renowned DSG transmission producing a blistering 141kW (192 PS) of raw power. The Polo GTI ticks all the boxes when it comes to providing a complete performance package and sets the driver apart from his peer group. It effortlessly combines power & beauty with technical enhancements and distinctive design additions like independent bumpers, red GTI insignia, distinctive side sills and GTI specific rear spoiler.
At the official event presentation to kick-start the celebrations that evening Steffen Knapp Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars said, “Today, marks a milestone in our India journey with the Volkswagen Polo completing a decade long presence in this region. World over, the Polo has been the most loved carline with over 14 million units being sold. We’re glad Polo in India is significantly contributing and has quickly become the best-selling carline in our portfolio. Till date, the Polo receives 45 percent of first-time buyers with a strong preference towards the GT TSI variant, which comes with our globally renowned DSG gearbox.
Further, it gives me immense pleasure to inform that nearly 31 percent of women prefer buying a Volkswagen Polo over the others in this segment. Owing to its durability, build quality, safety and fun-to-drive experience.”
The Volkswagen Polo over the last decade has received several accolades across segments by automotive magazines in India and globally. The most noteworthy recognition continues to be by J.D. Power with the topmost rank awarded to the Polo over the last three consecutive years in the premium compact car segment. Followed by the Indian Blue Books award for the highest in residual value in the year 2018. “
Next morning at Zonkers Adventure Park we got to drive the POLO RX and POLO CUP TSI race cars around a small go-karting track. This showcased first-hand the racing and track capabilities of the VW Polo.We learnt how Sirish Vissa, Head Volkswagen Motorsport India and his team had transformed the stock Polo’s into powerful racing machines. The Polo Cup was followed by the Vento Cup and then the Ameo Cup which is a One Make Racing National Championship Series.
Currently, Volkswagen, Europe’s leading car manufacturer offers the Polo in four engine options in India:
|Polo||GT TSI||GT TDI|
|1.0L MPI | 5-speed MT||1.5L TDI | 5-speed MT||1.2L | 7-speed DSG||1.5L TDI | 5-speed MT|
The Volkswagen Polo has so far sold over 2.5 lakh units in India. Performance, safety and all-round durability has made the VW Polo a favorite with car buyers over the last 10 years. Here’s wishing Volkswagen India more success with the Polo for the next decade.