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Hoping that the compact Volkswagen Polo will head to the United States anytime soon? Don’t hold your breath, as the German automaker is focusing on its Jetta and Golf models and has no immediate plans to bring a Polo to the American market. But it is ready should market demand change says Volkswagen’s VP of marketing, Rainer Michel.
Earlier in the month we reported that Volkswagen was testing their new WRC Polo R with Carlos Sainz behind the wheel, and now there’s video from Sainz’s testing sessions along with the official announcement of VW signing Sebastian Ogier as their first driver for the FIA World Rally Championship alongside Julien Ingrassia as his co-driver.
Ogier finished third in the 2011 WRC and looks to play a pivotal role in shaping the Polo R to become a championship caliber race vehicle. The 2.0L turbocharged Polo R cranks out 296-hp and 285 lb-ft of torque and looks right at home as it tears through its testing. Ogier drove for Citroen in 2011 and won’t be back behind the wheel until 2013 with the Polo R. The 2012 season will be dedicated to developing the Polo into a serious contender.
GALLERY: Volkswagen WRC Polo R
Check out the videos below:
[Source: Inside Line]
Volkswagen’s WRC entry in the form of a Polo R is out testing a little over a year before its official competition debut. The Polo R recently got its first bout of testing on a 1.5-mile tarmac track out in the vineyards in Trier, Germany.
Behind the wheel during test was Dakar winner Carlos Sainz and Volkswagen board member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg; both took turns piloting the WRC car for about 60 miles with Timo Gottschalk as co-driver.
The actual car being used for testing won’t be the final version of the Polo R WRC, as Volkswagen is trying to gather as much data as possible to tweak the final race car before the start of the 2013 season. Both drivers said the car felt very good and its first batch of data is very promising for a real serious contender.
Details are light on the Polo R WRC, but it’s assumed that it’ll have around 300-hp to all four wheels. Volkswagen clearly knows they have their work cut out for them to compete against veterans Ford and Citroen in WRC, but they’re clearly taking the initiative in ensuring they have a fighting chance.
GALLERY: Volkswagen WRC Polo R
Last year, Volkswagen stirred up some excitement by introducing the 2010 Polo GTI at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, and this year they’re following it up with an announcement of two R-Line packages for the Polo in addition to an Exclusive Edition for the Passat.
The pair of R-Line packages will be available as an option for the Polo Comfortline and the Polo Highline model, with one of the packages concentrating on the exterior while the other outfits the interior with upgrades.
The exterior R-Line package comes with 16- or 17-inch wheels with wider 215-tires, black gloss finish for the front grille, model-specific front and rear bumpers (based on Comfortline or Highline), a rear diffuser, chrome exhaust tips, a roof spoiler, pair of side skirts, fog lamps and LED license plate illumination. For the Comfortline the exterior R-Line package runs around $2,000 based on today’s conversion rates while the Highline will cost a little less than $1,400.
The interior R-Line package costs a tad over $1,175 for the Polo Comfortline and $620 for the Highline and with it comes a pair of sport seats up front – with Alcantara or leather option – black roof lining, sport leather steering wheel, glossy black dashboard trim and aluminum pedals and door sills.
For the Passat, Volkswagen will be offering an Exclusive Edition based on the Highline trim for the sedan at $44,700 and as a station wagon Variant for $46,300. The Exclusive Edition will outfit the Passat with a set of 18-inch wheels while it sits 0.6-inch lower thanks to sportier suspension. On the inside, where most of the changes are, VW accents the Passat with Nappa leather seats in a chocolate brown shade with contrast-colored stitching in Pepper White. The door panels and steering wheel also benefits from leather while special floor mats and a combination of wood and aluminum trim round off the accents.
At any rate, hopefully the R-Line package is just a teaser for the upcoming Polo R model that VW should be adding to its lineup next year.
GALLERY: Polo R-Line and Passat Exclusive Edition
With Volkswagen now having launched the new Jetta and Passat on our shores, the automaker has pretty much run out of cars to Americanize and so it will soon look to deliver some all-new models designed to appeal to our less sophisticated tastes and larger beltlines.
One of the first will be a three row crossover or SUV, priced well below the Touareg. Instead of competing in the near the luxury SUV segment, the new model would be a rival to cars like the new Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango. VW’s new Passat platform could likely serve as the basis for the new machine.
Next up would be a sub-compact or B-Segment car, along the lines of the VW Polo. Sadly (very sadly) we won’t see anything like the current Polo offered in Europe (like the Polo GTI pictured above), and instead we’ll most likely get a watered-down version that’s almost certain to be a sedan.
[Source: Car & Driver]
Volkswagen confirmed today that an Audi S1 and a Jetta R are in the pipeline, but quashed rumors of an upcoming Polo R model. In an interview with drive.com.au, Dr. Ernst Linder, responsible for developing the Polo GTI, said that an Audi S1 would be offered with the familiar 1.4L twincharge unit and 7-speed DSG used in the Polo GTI. The S1 will also be front-drive, despite Audi’s legacy of using the quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Linder also denied that a Polo R would be coming, stating “From the technical point-of-view, of course we can do something, but from the financial point-of-view it makes not so much sense,” he said. “It would be too expensive and we have the S1. The S1 will have 136kW and it’s a very sporty car. If we put much more horsepower in the [Polo], we need something like four-wheel-drive. This is a technical feature that is very expensive.”
The Jetta R, on the other hand, was confirmed, but technical details are vague. Expect the familiar 2.0TFSI turbo engine, all-wheel drive and a DSG gearbox.
Volkswagen has released three images of the 2010 Polo GTI, which will be introduced at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show in March.
The 2010 Polo GTI will be powered by a 1.4 liter TSI engine, claiming 178 bhp, and a seven-speed DSG transmission. The GTI version stands 0.6 inches lower and uses stiffer suspension than the regular Polo. The Polo GTI will also use Volkswagen’s XDS electronic cross-axle traction control system for improved handling.
Inside, the Polo GTI features tartan cloth seats and flat-bottomed steering wheel.
AutoGuide.com will have more when the 2010 Volkswagen Polo GTI makes its debut at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
Gallery: 2010 Volkswagen Polo GTI
As we have previously reported, Volkswagen will bring it’s sub-compact Polo to the U.S. but not until 2011. Even more surprising is that the vehicle won’t be the same one that was just unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show.
According to a Automotive News report (soured on AutoBlog) the 2011 Polo will come to the U.S. in two different versions: a sedan and hatchback. VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby told Automotive News that the current Polo is still too small for the U.S. market – which is surprising because it looked pretty large to us in Geneva.
To resolve this issue, VW will build two new version of the car with a longer wheelbase and a slightly taller roof. The sedan model will be smaller than the Jetta and the four-door wagon/hatchback will be a competitor to the Honda Fit.
Jacoby did say that pricing for the sub-compact would have to be between $13,000 and $15,000 in order to compete in the segment, so expect the final products to have base prices in that range. In order to achieve that price, the vehicle will likely have to be built in North America – potentially at VW’s Puebla, Mexico plant.
That’s right, VW will be getting into the ultra-competitive sub-compact segment in North America with the new VW Polo.
There is no word on which engine options will be offered but we wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the TDI engines (of which VW will produce three) offered. TDI models will range in power from 60 to 105 hp.
As for gasoline engines, the Polo will be offered worldwide with four different FSI engines. The U.S.-market is likely to see just one of these but possibly two. The most likely is the 1.2TSI, a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 105hp.
The next engine down from that is a naturally aspirated 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 90hp.
VW is planning to offer some of the higher-performance Polos with its new 7-speed DSG gearbox. Some models will also be offered with 17-inch wheels.
Look out Honda Fit!
GALLERY: 2010 VW Polo
Official release after the jump: