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Extra space, new face for Volkswagen's Polo

Evolutionary: The all-new Polo gains a four-eyed face reminiscent of its Lupo sibling.

Volkswagen pulls the wraps off its all-new baby car

15 Aug 2001

VOLKSWAGEN has revealed its all-new Polo, due to make its international debut at next month's Frankfurt motor show.

Although no panels are carried over from the existing model, the fourth-generation car does not look dramatically different.

It will be offered in Europe in three and five-door body styles and with a choice of five engines - two petrol and three diesel. We are likely to get only the petrol-powered, five-door model - as is the case now.

Volkswagen Australia spokesman Brad Leach said the newcomer was due here in mid-2002, contrary to earlier suggestions it would arrive in the first quarter of next year.

Mr Leach said it was too early to comment on pricing or specification of Australia-bound cars.

"We have scheduled some meetings in Germany next month to talk about specification levels," he said.

"But the good news is that the new Polo is bigger and has more interior space than the current model, so you've got to factor that in the pricing equation." The current Polo is priced from $22,490, putting it up against the likes of the bigger Holden Astra.

It is likely the new model will retain similar pricing, but the promised improvement in interior accommodation may make it a better value proposition than the current car.

Motivation will be provided by the same 1.4-litre, 55kW unit that powers the current Polo. Transmission choices will again comprise a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

In terms of dimensions, the new Polo is 154mm longer than the current generation vehicle while the wheelbase is extended by 53mm.

Active safety features will include electronic stability program (ESP) and hydraulic brake assist (HBA), which is designed to cut emergency braking distance.

Other options will include Climatic - a semi-automatic air-conditioning system that uses less fuel than a conventional system - and integrated rear child seats.

Four trim levels - E, S, SE and Sport - will be available in Europe.

Meanwhile, VW's local line-up will be supplemented in mid-September by the Beetle turbo, which gains the same 110kW powerplant as the Golf GTi.

It will be priced around $40,000, putting it up against the likes of the imminent Alfa Romeo 147.

Soon after, the station wagon version of the recently updated Passat will make its debut at the Sydney motor show. Like its sedan sibling, it will be offered with four-cylinder and V6 engines.

Further up the scale, the eight-cylinder Passat W8 will arrive in the first quarter of 2002 - bearing a price tag around $100,000.

Mr Leach said the new flagship would come generously equipped to take the fight up to the likes of the BMW 530i and Mercedes-Benz C320.

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