Volkswagen will not launch an R version of its Polo, sources say

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 15, 2011

Even if Audi has already developed an all-wheel drive version of its PQ25 platform for its new A1 quattro, it’s unlikely that Volkswagen will launch an R version of its Polo. The PQ25 platform, which underpins both the Polo and A1, as well as the Seat Ibiza, was never intended for all-wheel drive.

However, the platform was modified because Audi wanted to launch a quattro-equipped A1. This resulted to speculations that VW may use it to underpin the long-rumored R version of the Polo.

According to an R insider who spoke with Autocar, the Polo R project is feasible but it will not go into production because of the high price that the car would have to fetch.

The sources said that the company already has the £19,000 Polo GTI while the Golf GTI is priced £6000 higher and it would be difficult to price the Polo R between them.

The insider also said VW would probably not adopt the platform for an all-wheel drive version of the CrossPolo since the car is popular only as a front-drive only model.

VW Polo models with versions that have a sporty top go as far back as 25 years ago starting in 1986 with the legendary Polo Coupé. At the time it was released, it redefined the dynamic limits of vehicle in its class as it was the first have a mechanical G-charger fitted to it. Inside the Polo G40 was an engine that delivered output at 83 kW (113 PS) with maximum speed at 200 km/h. With these top of the line features, the Polo G40 will undoubtedly be a sought-after collector’s item.

In comparison, the Polo GTI’s predecessor was the first to use turbo technology back in 2006. While the base version offered an output of 110 kW (150 PS), the legendary Cup Edition version increased this to 180 PS.

It is expected that by the end of May 2010, the first Polo GTIs will be sold in Germany, after which it will then be introduced to the rest of Europe and later Japan. A lot of excitement is in store for this class as it exhibits a combination of turbocharger, supercharger, and direct injection, all under the same engine bonnet. The Euro-5 180 PS four-cylinder 16-valve engine is able to achieve maximum power at 6,200 rpm with 250 Nm of maximum torque -- rather impressive figures for an engine in this size.

It is already available starting from 2,000 rpm and it can go up constantly until it reaches 4,500 rpm. The implication of these figures is that the Polo GTI is pretty robust with an impressive torque and the 1.4 SI rpm-loving TSI.

The front-wheel drive shows a rare level of agility to meet any situation or any engine speeds. Helping this dynamic is the 7-speed DSG. The direct shift gearbox is able to bring together the economy and sports appeal of a manual gearbox with the operating ease of an automatic gearbox. When not using the full-automatic mode, the DSG allows for manual shift in two ways: the shift paddle on its steering or the gearshift lever through the Tiptronic shift gate.

For the Polo model range, the top performing version is a completely safe and sporty car. One reason for this is the GTI sport chassis which has the ESP and the XDS electronic transverse differential lock. It also makes sure that the power is transmitted to the road even on tight winding curves.

Meanwhile the running gear is founded on the layout of semi-independent rear suspension and McPherson front suspension combined with amazing dynamic tuning. There are now stiffer dampers which are connected to specially modified springs that have a ride height that’s lower by as much as 15 mm versus the "Normal versions". This also has the effect of lowering the angles of its body roll as well as lowering its center of gravity.

These also result in positive effects on the vehicle dynamics via the curves. This is the same goal achieved by the alloy wheel with the 5-hole GTI-typical "Denver" style (7Jx17), on which are fitted the low-profile tyres (215/40 R17 87V).

This also gives the Polo the same look as the Golf GTI. In terms of safety, the Polo GTI is equipped with a lot of features straight from the factory. Examples of these are the dimensioned brakes that come with the standard ESP stabilisation programme.

Connected to these are different electronic modules like anti-lock braking (ABS), anti-slip regulation (ASR), electronic differential locks (EDS), engine drag torque control (MSR), and hill hold control. Pressure on the tyres is detected with the tyre pressure monitoring system.

It also has the XDS electronic transverse differential lock which is simply an extension of the EDS. This is similar to the one in Golf GTI that was presented by Volkswagen. In addition to improving the handling when going through fast curves, it also enables the car to be adjusted as "neutral".

It even helps prevent the unloaded wheel from slipping while on the inside of a curve through active brake intervention and thus improve traction. This particular system comes as standard equipment in the Polo GTI, giving the ability to access current sensor data like wheel speeds, yaw rate, and steering wheel angle. The end result is that the Polo GTI is more fun and safer to drive in since its steering is more precise compared to the XDS.

Topics: vw, vw polo

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