Take a look at the next Volkswagen Polo. Honest, it really is the next Polo, not the current Golf; they’re just rather similar from the front.
These pictures have appeared online after having been taken in South Africa, or so the grapevine says. They show the next Polo without any disguise whatsoever, riding on black steelies and with a design showing all the imagination of a pair of grey trousers. It’s not that it’s bad looking. Far from it, but it’s a shame it doesn’t have more of its own identity.
It’s bigger but lighter than before, using a new chassis based on the same modular, scaleable MQB architecture as the Golf and about a dozen other VW Group models. Extra length is designed to free up extra legroom while width brings handling stability and elbow room. It does mean there’s likely to be a huge difference in size between this and the Up city car.
The rumour mill says the diesel Polo’s days are numbered, but the latest 1.6-litre diesel engines will still be replace the wheezy 1.4 on this model. Autocar is claiming to have been told that the current 14 engine options will be slimmed down in favour of a smaller number of ‘more modern and economical engines’.
There will be a Polo GTI but no Polo R, plus a mild hybrid with short-range EV capability. Gearboxes will continue much as they have done, spanning five- and six-speed manuals and a seven-speed DSG. Four-wheel drive is technically possible but unlikely, given that very few four-wheel drive Golfs have sold so far and that the T-Cross Breeze mini-SUV will have a four-wheel drive option.
Elsewhere, expect cabin quality and boot space to increase. It will be yours in three- and five-door guises and you can bet it’s not going to be cheap.