The Volkswagen Polo Robust Is A Little Hatch Designed For The Farmyard

A product of VW’s Brazilian division, it’s being aimed specifically at the nation’s farmers
VW Polo Robust - front
VW Polo Robust - front

Volkswagen’s Brazilian division remains something of an enigma of the automotive world, where a familiar badge is present on all kinds of vehicles that would likely never appear in Europe. Last time we heard from it, it had lengthened and chopped the roof off a Virtus saloon to give the Brazilian president something to be driven around its factory in.

Now, it’s revealed another unusual new model, one that’ll actually make production, although it’s being marketed to a very specific audience: Brazilian farmers.

VW Polo Robust - rear
VW Polo Robust - rear

The car in question is the Polo Robust. It’s based on the Polo Track, itself a stripped-out, budget-friendly version of the Polo we get in Europe. To create the Polo Robust, VW Brazil has raised the suspension and given it a pair of option packs.

The first of these features vinyl seat covers, rubber floor mats and front grille protectors, all aimed at making sure the car can withstand the rigours of farm work inside and out. The second adds a rubber boot floor protector and a tow hitch, which we suspect is the first time such a thing has been a factory option on a car this small.

The Polo Robust was apparently developed and tested with input from farmers, and VW even chose to unveil it at an agricultural exposition, alongside new versions of its Amarok and Saveiro pickups.

VW Polo Track - interior
VW Polo Track - interior

Despite the rugged remit, the Robust is mechanically unchanged from a standard Polo Track, meaning it’s still front-wheel drive only. It comes with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder that makes 76bhp when run on regular petrol, or 83bhp on bio-ethanol.

We’ve seen plenty of these rugged-looking, slightly raised superminis before, not least the old VW Polo Dune, but this is the first one we can think of that’s actually being marketed as a genuine work vehicle rather than a lifestyle statement. Could there be a market for this sort of thing in Europe?


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