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Volkswagen Classic Celebrates ’40 Years of the Polo’

+ Polo highlights from four decades and an attractive supporting program

At the world’s largest show for classic automobiles, the Techno Classica, Volkswagen Classic will be focusing on a very special anniversary from 15 till 19 April 2015: the Polo is celebrating its 40th birthday. It goes without saying that the small car will be celebrated in fitting style on the Volkswagen stand: under the motto ‘40 years of the Polo’ a selection of models from the successful series will be showcased in Essen. The appearance at the show will be accompanied by an extensive supporting programme with guided tours, promotions, brief talks and a competition.

Volkswagen Classic is showcasing seven prestigious representatives from all five Polo generations on its stand in Essen. It will be a selection of ‘contemporary witnesses’ from each Polo epoch – starting with the original Polo from 1975 which started the success story that has endured for four decades. Further exhibits include the only remaining ‘World Record’ prototype with G-Lader from 1985, its later series production counterpart, the Polo Coupé G40, the fascinating ‘Eco Polo’ concept car with fuel consumption of around two litres of diesel per 100 km, the popular Polo III Open Air special edition with factory-fitted cabrio feeling and the full Polo cabriolet concept car from Karmann, which never actually made it as far as series production.

Naturally the current Polo generation (6R) is also represented in the retrospective. The selected model is one which, despite its very young age, has already made history: the 300 hp Polo R WRC with which Sébastien Ogier and Volkswagen Motorsport won the World Rally Championship in 2013 and 2014.

You can find further information on the Polo exhibits in the final section of the press release.

Expert talks, photo promotion, competition and online special

In order to ensure that visitors are given a personal and comprehensive insight into the history of the Polo, Volkswagen Classic has teamed up with friends of the VW Polo IG Deutschland e.V. to give brief yet highly knowledgeable guided tours around the stand. Brief talks will also be given in a specially designated area. The subjects range from the model history of the Polo to its motor sport background and technical highlights such as the G-Lader or Formel E version.

This year Volkswagen Classic is once again running the now traditional photo promotion: those who would like to take away a lasting souvenir of the Techno Classica 2015 can have themselves photographed with a Polo of their choice.

With a little luck, a visit to the Volkswagen stand at the Techno Classica could be doubly worthwhile: those who can demonstrate their knowledge of the displayed Volkswagen classics in the competition can win exclusive prizes in the daily draw, including VIP tickets for the Classic Days at Schloss Dyck or wonderful examples of various limited edition Volkswagen model cars.

To coincide with the classic automobile show, Volkswagen Classic is launching a comprehensive online special at with stories, interviews and reports to mark the 40th anniversary of the Volkswagen Polo.

The Polo exhibits in detail

Polo I L, built 1975, 0.9-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 29 kW (40 hp)

This early Polo in the colour ‘Oceanic Blue’, which was only available at the beginning, is the more luxuriously equipped L version. On the outside the L version can be identified by the chrome bumpers (they are matt silver on the basic model) and the fine chrome trim on the side. Among other things, different seat covers enhance the interior.

Polo II hatchback, ‘Eco’ model, built 1988, 0.9-litre, two-cylinder, diesel, 29 kW (40 hp)

The second Polo generation is represented by a concept car designed for maximum efficiency and featuring real high-tech engineering: a diesel engine with direct fuel injection, exhaust gas recirculation, a system which opened the clutch and allowed the car to freewheel under its own motional energy, a start–stop system, a G-Lader for top performance and a semi-automatic five-speed gearbox.

Polo II G40 ‘World Record’, built 1985, 1.3-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 95 kW (129 hp)

This unique model (a loan by Foundation AutoMuseum Volkswagen) is also from the second generation. In 1985 it was used to present the new G-Lader technology in impressive style during a 24-hour world record attempt on Volkswagen’s own test track in Ehra-Lessin. With an average speed of 208 km/h the then record of 168.6 km/h in the 1,300 cc class was well and truly broken.

Polo II G40, built 1992, 1.3-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 83 kW (113 hp)

Also under the bonnet of this Polo Coupé is the engine with the G-shaped scroll-type supercharger, but it comes from the second series, which was not a limited edition. It can be identified by the rectangular headlights at the front, the larger rear lights and the large, integrated crumple zones.

Polo III Open Air, built 1998, 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 44 kW (60 hp)

The third generation of the successful model is symbolised by this special edition Polo produced for the European market with electrically operated folding roof, whose dimensions even allowed the rear passengers to enjoy the journey under open skies. Also a friendly loan by Foundation AutoMuseum Volkswagen.

Polo IV GTI Cabriolet, built 2007, 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, petrol, 110 kW (150 hp)

Another unique model is representing the fourth generation: Karmann in Osnabrück demonstrated its cabriolet expertise in design, construction and quality at the IAA in Frankfurt in 2007 with this concept car. The sloping line of the closed roof gives the Polo a coupé-like silhouette; with an intricate manoeuvre the open roof disappears completely under the rear shelf. The glass rear window is raised electrically for unrestricted access to the boot.

Polo V R WRC, built 2013, 1.6-litre, four cylinder, petrol, approx. 220 kW (300 hp)

The world champion: Volkswagen was able to claim victory in the very first special stage at the Rally Monte Carlo in its debut season in 2013 with Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia in the cockpit of the then brand-new Polo R WRC. It was the perfect start: at the end of the season both the constructor’s and the driver’s and co-driver’s titles had been secured in the World Rally Championship. The Polo R WRC on display in Essen features the technology and design of the first model.


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