SIAC Volkswagen has taken the wraps off a new variant of the Polo hatchback – called the Polo Plus – at the 2019 Shanghai motor show (Auto Shanghai 2019). While the Volkswagen Polo Plus is based on the new sixth-gen model that made its international debut back in 2017, it is 11mm narrower and 3mm shorter. However, with a 4,053mm length, 1,740mm width and 1,449mm height, along with a 2,564mm long wheelbase, the VW Polo Plus is still larger than the Polo that’s currently on sale in India and China.
In terms of design, the Polo Plus gets sportier trim over the standard Polo, with a dual-tone yellow and black finish, new 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, LED tail-lamps, a rear spoiler and faux chrome-finished dual-pipe exhausts. Unlike higher-spec variants of the Polo in international markets, the Polo Plus misses out on LED DRLs and the larger 17-inch alloy wheels.
The interiors of the Polo Plus carry forward the sporty exterior theme, with yellow highlights on the dashboard, centre console and door panels. Equipment provided by SIAC Volkswagen includes a sunroof, a touchscreen infotainment system with four speakers, and steering mounted controls, while safety kit like a rear camera, ESP, multiple airbags and ABS with EBD are standard. On the other hand, features such as an automatic climate control system and adjustable neck restraints are not on offer. In addition, the infotainment system is not Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatible.
For the Chinese market, the Polo Plus has the same 1.5-litre petrol engine and 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearbox options as the standard model, which is already on sale there.
The VW Polo Plus is exclusive to the Chinese market and it is unlikely that Volkswagen India will bring the Polo Plus to our market as the current-gen Polo will soldier on for the next couple of years. Considering rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Ford Figo are much newer models, sales of the VW Polo are expected to suffer. As per the Volkswagen Group’s India 2.0 plan, the MQB A0 platform that the new-gen Polo is based on will be localised heavily and will make its debut on the India-spec Skoda Kamiq SUV. The platform will then underpin the Volkswagen T-Cross for India, which will be followed by the next-gen VW Vento (Virtus) and Skoda Rapid.
Along with its plans for platform localisation, Volkswagen is also working on the localisation of its 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI turbo-petrol engine – a VW Vento with the new BS-VI-compliant engine has been spied testing in the country. This new motor, which may come in 94hp or 114hp states of tune, will replace the aging 105hp, 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol and the 105hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engines.