Sneak Peek: 2010 Volkswagen Polo

VW's global small car - finally bound for America.

by on Mar.03, 2009

Polo Blue Motion Concept: "Cleaner than any hybrid on the market"?

Polo Blue Motion Concept: "Cleaner than any hybrid on the market"?

Take the latest Volkswagen Golf, shrink it down a size class and you’ve pretty much come up with the all-new 2010 Volkswagen Polo. No longer a plain-Jane econobox, the Polo debuting at this year’s Geneva Motor Show is decidedly more stylish and better-equipped than VW’s past attempts at entry-level motoring.

Squeezed by buyers wanting more content and regulators who alternately demand better crash protection and improved fuel economy, Volkswagen engineers had a tough challenge ahead when they launched the fifth-generation Polo project. If initial appearances prove accurate, they’ve redeemed themselves well.

Not only is the ’10 Polo better looking and more lavishly outfitted but it’s also expected to meet the tough new European 5-star NCAP crash tests, revealed VW Board Member Ulrich Hachenberg. On a comparably-equipped basis, the new model comes in 7.5 percent lighter than the Gen-4 Polo. And across the board, VW claims significant improvements in mileage. The most frugal, a BlueMotion diesel, is set to lay claim to being the most fuel-efficient 50-door non-hybrid model on the planet, yielding an impressive 62 mpg in the European test cycle.

Fifth-generation VW Polo - finally heading to the U.S.

Fifth-generation VW Polo - finally heading to the U.S.

At VW’s Tuesday news conference, the official opener of this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the automaker revealed a special Polo BlueMotion Concept vehicle with an even more fuel-efficient 3-cylinder diesel engine. While it’s not clear if the concept will translate into production, it will certainly have the support of European Greens considering it produces only 87 grams of CO2 for every kilometer driven – will below the tough new global warming standards set for the Continent.

“That’s better than any hybrid on the market today,” Noted Hachenberg, who oversees VW’s technical development efforts.

The latest remake of Polo should prove surprisingly attractive in a weak economy, considering its starting price of 12,150 Euros. “Better, but not more expensive,” said Hachenberg, during a Monday night preview of VW’s various Geneva auto show entries.

There will be four different gasoline and three diesel packages offered, most with either direct injection or turbo power. A 7-speed DSG gearbox is one option.

The four-door, meanwhile, goes into production in March, with sales officially slated to begin in June. (But because the outgoing, fourth-generation model is sold out for the rest of its run, VW says it will begin taking orders for the 2010 Polo, as of March 1st.)

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