Could The Volkswagen Harlequin Edition Be Making A Comeback?

A teaser posted to Volkswagen’s social media strongly hints that its colourful ’90s special edition could be returning
Volkswagen Polo Harlequin
Volkswagen Polo Harlequin

1990s automotive nostalgia is at an all time high right now, and manufacturers are taking note. Nissan has just brought back Bayside Blue and Midnight Purple on the R35 GT-R, and now it looks like Volkswagen could be poised to bring back an iconic ’90s colour scheme of its own.

A post on VW’s UK social channels features the phrases ‘Colour is coming’ and ‘IYKYK’ (‘if you know, you know’), with the letters and backgrounds in various combinations of blue, green, red and yellow.

VW aficionados will know these as the colours of the brand’s beloved Harlequin models of the 1990s, on which each panel was finished a different colour. The Harlequin – or Harlekin, in continental Europe – treatment was first given to the third-generation ‘6N’ Polo in 1995, with something around 3800 produced.

Its origins lie in a fleet of multi-coloured Polos that were built for promotional materials, to show off the car’s bright, jazzy ’90s colour palette. The cars were so well received that a decision was taken to make it a proper limited edition.

Volkswagen Golf Harlequin
Volkswagen Golf Harlequin

In North America, where the Polo was unavailable, a run of around 270 Mk3 Golf Harlequins were sold in 1996.

Original Harlequins have now become highly collectible, and the popular colour scheme has spurred countless tributes, not least the one that recently appeared on a Porsche 918 Spyder. VW itself has already got in the act, with its Dutch division building a one-off Harlequin version of the current Polo back in 2021.

Now, though, it looks like it could be coming back as something you can actually buy. On exactly what model isn’t clear – obviously, the Polo and Golf are both still in production, but given VW’s electric push, it wouldn’t at all surprise us to see an ID.3 Harlequin appear soon. Hopefully, we won’t have long to wait to find out.

Golf Harlequin image: Analogue Kid, CC BY-SA 3.0


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