17 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Selected 2016 model year Polos affected by Volkswagen CO2 emissions issue

Volkswagen 1.0 TSI engine

While the ‘dieselgate’ controversy has faded from the daily headlines, Volkswagen has faced another emissions issue in recent days. On 3 November, Volkswagen released a statement which claimed it had now found ‘irregularities’ in some of its 2016 model year cars’ CO2 emission levels, which it discovered itself while investigating vehicles for type approval.

430,046 blacklisted vehicles
On 13 November, the company announced which vehicles are affected by the latest emissions issue, and, as with the diesel irregularities, selected Polo models are included in the 430,046 blacklisted cars.

2016 model year Polos fitted with 1.4-litre TDI engines with 74, 89 and 103bhp outputs are affected by the CO2 irregularity issue, as well as those which are powered by the new 1.0-litre TSI petrol unit, including, ironically, the latest BlueMotion models.

Initially, 800,000 Volkswagen Group cars were thought to be affected by the ‘implausible’ CO2 figures, so the company must be breathing a slight sigh of relief that the confirmed figure is lower. However, if vehicles from previous years are investigated, the number of affected cars could nudge that initial figure. VW has disclosed its findings to the ‘relevant authorities’.

Vehicles’ safety not affected
A new round of CO2 figures will be monitored and determined under the supervision of the German Federal Vehicle and Transport Authority (KBA). As with the diesel controversy, Volkswagen websites will carry vehicle identification number (VIN) checkers to enable easy recognition of affected cars.

With many European countries deciding vehicle tax bands on CO2 emissions, hundreds of thousands of drivers may have been charged the incorrect tax. The Volkswagen Group has declared that it, and not the customer, will pay for any discrepancies arising from this latest disclosure. An initial estimate puts the economic risks at approximately two billion euros.

‘Do its utmost to rebuild trust’
Once again, and not for the first time in recent weeks, Volkswagen has stated that ‘the latest findings must be an incentive for the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management to do their utmost to resolve such irregularities and rebuild trust’. That trust appears to need building at an increasingly alarming rate.

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12 October 2015 ~ 1 Comment

‘Dieselgate’: 1.2-litre TDI also employs ‘emission-cheating’ software

Volkswagen 1.2-litre TDI 'EA111' engine

In addition to the huge 11 million cars confirmed so far for recall following Volkswagen’s global ‘dieselgate’ ‘emission-cheating’ software fiasco, the company confirmed today that the 1.2-litre TDI ‘EA111’ engine can also be added to the blacklisted ‘EA189’ series of 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI units.

Found in versions of the fifth-generation Polo ‘6R’ built from 2009-2014 – the environmentally-aimed BlueMotion is one of particular note – in the UK, Europe and selected global markets, the three-cylinder 1.2 TDI was also fitted to certain SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia and Roomster models. Like the well-documented EA189 family, it features software to reduce emission levels under certain test conditions.

Remedial work
As with other models so affected, Polos with the 1.2-litre TDI engine will be recalled in January, with the timeframe for the remedial work expected to take up to a year. Concerned Polo owners in the UK can check if their cars are affected by visiting the online Volkswagen Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) checker. In the UK, the 74bhp 1.2-litre TDI was fitted to 91g/km BlueMotion and 102g/km ‘Match’ models.

The full list of affected Volkswagen Group (Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles) cars can be found here. VW has admitted that cars fitted the Euro 5 emission standard EA189 range of engines are fitted with what the motor industry is calling a ‘defeat device’ which gives lower NOx (nitrogen oxide) emission levels under test conditions.

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05 October 2015 ~ 1 Comment

Polo BlueMotion TSI completes Volkswagen South Africa new Polo range

2015 Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion TSI (South Africa)

The petrol-powered version of the latest Polo BlueMotion has gone on sale in South Africa. The first Volkswagen BlueMotion model with a TSI engine, the 97g/km Polo BlueMotion TSI officially achieves 4.2l/100km (67.2mpg), as opposed to the standard 1.2-litre TSI model with 57.6mpg. Volkswagen South Africa claims it tops the class for fuel consumption.

1.0-litre, 94bhp engine
The same as other versions worldwide, the new Polo BlueMotion TSI for South Africa has a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine which develops 70kW (94bhp) and can reach a top speed of 191km/h (118mph). Maximum torque of 160Nm (118lb ft) is available from 1500rpm up to 3500rpm. Maximum power is reached between 5000 and 5500rpm. The Polo BlueMotion TSI reaches 62mph from rest in 10.5 seconds.

A lowered ride height, rear spoiler, underbody aero-package and faired in front radiator grille are features carried over from the previous Polo BlueMotion. The latest car also shares its low rolling resistance tyres and longer gear ratios with its predecessor. A stop/start system is standard along with a regenerative braking function and a gear change indicator which informs of the optimum shift times.

Equipment highlights
Equipment highlights include – stylish and one of best rims available for the current Polo in our opinion – 15-inch ‘Buenos Aires’ alloy wheels, a six-speaker Radio Composition Colour touchscreen infotainment system with MP3/SD/USB/Bluetooth connectivity options. Volkswagen’s latest Automatic Post-Collision Braking (standard) and Driver Alert (optional) systems are also available.

Priced at R235,800, the new Polo BlueMotion TSI can be specified with bi-xenon headlights allied to LED daytime running lights, while cruise control is fitted as standard. Head over to the Polo pages of Volkswagen South Africa’s website to find out more.

New Polo TDI engines
Volkswagen South Africa has also announced the addition of two new common rail 1.4-litre TDI engines, which replace the 1.6-litre units used previously (and which are possibly part of the current worldwide ‘Dieselgate’ EA189 emissions scandal). Both offer improved engine acoustics and less vibration than their predecessors.

Two power outputs are available, 55kW (74bhp) and 77kW (103bhp). The 55kW unit develops 210Nm (155lb ft) of torque from 1500rpm, while maximum power is reached between 3000-3750rpm. Top speed is 173km/h (107mph) and the 0-62mph dash is reached in 12.9 seconds. It is only available in Trendline trim.

The more powerful 75kW version is offered to buyers choosing Highline and Cross (CrossPolo) trims. Torque of 250Nm (184lb ft) is available from a 55kW version-matching 1500rpm. Top speed is 194km/h while the Polo 1.4 TDI 77kW gets to 62mph from rest in 9.9 seconds. As with the 55kW variant, CO2 is 108g/km and fuel economy is a claimed 68.8mpg.

The Polo 1.4 TDI 55kW Trendline is priced at R223,500, with the 1.4 TDI 77kW Highline at R252,000. The 1.4 TDI 77kW CrossPolo costs R260,000. As standard, the new Polo comes with a 3-year/45,000km Service Plan, a 3-year/120,000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15,000km. The two new diesel and BlueMotion TSI models complete the South African range which includes the range-topping GTI.

The Polo first came to South Africa in October 1996, and sat between the Citi Golf and Golf in the model line-up. A booted sedan/saloon model, it was based on the contemporary SEAT Cordoba. A hatchback version, the Polo Playa, joined it in July 1998 and was similarly based on another SEAT, the Ibiza.

October 2002 saw the all-new Polo 9N hit South African shores, and promptly won the 2003 South African Car of the Year title. It was joined by a notchback Polo Classic saloon version in March of that year.

The fifth-generation Polo was launched in South Africa in 2010. The hatchback and saloon range has has consistently been the second best-selling car in the country. The best-selling model in South Africa since 2010 has been the Polo’s sibling, the Polo Vivo which was also launched in the same year to replace the Citi Golf.

The Polo has sold over 14 million units and is now available worldwide. The factory in Uitenhage is one of the two plants in the Volkswagen production network that assembles the Polo hatchback. In South Africa, the Polo is produced for both the local and export markets.

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23 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Polo BlueMotion TSI and TDI UK order books open: priced from £14,730

2015 Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion (UK)

Volkswagen UK is playing Santa and has opened its order books today for the new petrol-powered Polo BlueMotion TSI, which will be priced from £14,730. The 1.0-litre TSI emits 94g/km of CO2 and Volkswagen UK quotes a 68.9mpg combined cycle economy figure.

Traditionally a model with an eco mindset, the new Polo BlueMotion TSI marks the first time the car has been available with a petrol engine. The newly-engineered three-cylinder unit has 94bhp with maximum torque of 160lb ft (118Nm) produced between 1500-3500rpm.

Drive is through a five-speed manual gearbox, and the Polo BlueMotion will reach 62mph from rest in 10.5 seconds and has a maximum top speed of 119mph. A three-cylinder diesel 74bhp 1.4-litre TDI BlueMotion version is also available, returning 91.1 mpg and emitting 82g/km of CO2.

Polo BlueMotion models are based on the S trim level, and add a special styling pack consisting of uniquely-shaped front and rear bumpers, side skirts and rear roof spoiler. A faired-in radiator grille, body-coloured door handles, and body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators also differentiate the BlueMotions from other Polos.

Further exterior enhancements include front fog lights with static cornering function, BlueMotion badging, and 15-inch ‘Buenos Aires’ alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres.

Inside, there’s a multifunction leather steering wheel, air conditioning, a front centre armrest, touchscreen ‘Composition Media’ infotainment system, cruise control and Volkswagen’s Driver Alert System. The Polo BlueMotion comes with a ‘Think Blue’ trainer, which advises on how to drive in a more economical fashion by analysing journey patterns.

The Polo BlueMotion is available to order now, with first deliveries expected in March 2015. For more information on the Polo BlueMotion and other Polo models, visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

Polo BlueMotion 1.0 TSI 3dr 94bhp 5-spd manual: £14,730
Polo BlueMotion 1.0 TSI 5dr 94bhp 5-spd manual: £15,360
Polo BlueMotion 1.4 TDI 3dr 74bhp 5-spd manual: £15,795
Polo BlueMotion 1.4 TDI 3dr 74bhp 5-spd manual: £16,425

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17 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

New Volkswagen Polo TSI BlueMotion now available to order

2014 Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion (6C)

Volkswagen has announced that the mainland Europe order books for the new Polo TSI BlueMotion are now open. There has been a BlueMotion model in the Polo range since 2008, but it has always been powered by a TDI diesel engine.

The TSI BlueMotion however breaks that template and comes with a new three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with Volkswagen’s TSI technology. The German company says that the Polo TSI BlueMotion has best-in-class emissions at 94g/km, and also class-beating fuel economy, with the car theoretically capable of 70.6mpg (4.1 l/100km).

The Polo TSI BlueMotion is the first petrol-powered Volkswagen BlueMotion model. Improvements to the engine management system result in the headline-grabbing figures, and the new eco Polo is the first petrol-driven Polo to receive a class A label for energy efficiency.

As with all new Polo models, the TSI BlueMotion meets the strict EU6 emissions standard. The new engine is rated at 88bhp and has a top speed of 118mph. Changes over the regular Polo include a lowered ride height, improved radiator grille and underbody aerodynamics.

As with previous Polo BlueMotions, reduced rolling resistance tyres and longer gear ratios in the upper transmission stages are the mechanical tweaks. A stop/start system, regenerative braking and a gear-change indicator are also part of the eco diet.

As with other new Polos, a range of safety assistance systems are available incuding the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (which automatically initiates braking after a collision) and the optional Driver Alert System, Front Assist ambient traffic monitoring system with City Emergency Braking and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

Prices for the new Polo TSI BlueMotion start at €15,925 for the three-door model. A TDI BlueMotion will also join the TSI BlueMotion, and both models will come to the UK in early 2015. Prices and exact specifications are yet to be announced.

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