The New POLO – Launch drive

The New POLO – Launch drive

I love local launches, they involved no early morning flights and minimal packing of travel clothing, and when it’s a launch that involves something in your home town, you are hound to be filled with a sense of pride. After all Uitenhage is mainly known Volkswagen apart from its rich history and our delicious prickly pears.

Volkswagen is positively committed to South Africa; this has been evident in their R6.1Billion investment into the Uitenhage plant to enable the production of the 6th generation POLO for local and international markets in left & right hand drive. If you recall in 2015 they ploughed R4.5billion. This will also include the production of the spunky fast Polo Gti, right here in Uitenhage!!!!!! “I GTI eyenziwe apha eYhuta” is the sentiment shared by employees I mingled with in the last couple of days.

We SALUTE such a great move.

The launch took place at the charismatic Boardwalk Hotel, where we had our business presentation; this was followed by a Motorsport presentation at the new revamped Tramways building. The project of the development of Tramways building was done by the Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency; it used to be an Ice Rink. Polo Cup racing car looks smashing in its GTI kit, and now it has cool new features like Push to pass which adds an extra 20kw of power to the 150kw 2.0Turbo motor for 10 seconds to assist in overtaking. We were assured by Mike Rowe that the system can be managed on telemetry so that it cannot be cheated. Both VW Polo Race team members (Jonathan Mogotsi & Raais Ismal) were in attendance at the reveal. I applaud how they select the drivers for their team with their Driver Search initiative.

The launch route was relaxed and quite decent, it took us out of PE towards the coastal route to East London, and we took a detour at Kenton on Sea.
At 1st glance I was not impressed with its look, I had seen it several times during testing and completed units loaded on the train, it was at the launch that I was smitten. It’s larger in length 4,053 (+81mm), lower than its predecessor, and wider, wheelbase 2,548(+92mm). The interior is immensely spacious and comfortable. The new Polo now benefits from quite a number tech and features from in its bigger sibling Golf 7.5, nothing wrong spiralling down what works. I would have never pictured with active info display and park assist. Let alone a touch screen , multi collision braking system and a driver profile selection.

The build quality levels are world class and materials feel good on touch & sight. I drove the Beats Edition on launch, this forms part of the 2 model derivatives with 3 trim levels. It is available in a 1.0Tsi 3 potter with 70kw of power & 175nm, and a 85kw with a healthy 200nm. The trim levels are Trendline , Comfortline and Highline. The Beats Edition boasts 300w Dr Dre inspired sound system with subwoofer, by now you’d know why I chose to drive this one. It’s just too cool with the red stripe running from the bonnet to the roof and rear boot. The detailed seats with letter B embossed on the seat. The dash I bold with red line insert is quite exciting bit, judging by the reaction on social media. I could not fault the interior and exterior aesthetics baring missing grab bars on the front.

The drive is nothing short of magnificent, power delivery of the 70kw 3 potter is seamless and thrusty, the sound deadening is very well done in this 6 gen Polo, I have driven a 1998 & 2000 sedan models in the past, they were nothing like this. The handling is superb and confidence is built almost immediately. The launch route had enough to determine its great drive. I must admit it was an unfair advantage for me as I quite familiar with the route from my sales executive days.

First impressions are pleasing and quite impressive; the overall feel is nothing short of phenomenal.

1.0 TSI 70kW Trendline R 235 900
1.0 TSI 70kW Comfortline R 264 700
1.0 TSI 70kW Comfortline DSG R 280 700
1.0 TSI 85kW Highline R 286 200
1.0 TSI 85kW Highline DSG R 302 200

All pricing includes VAT and Emmision Tax, the Polo is backed by a 45 000km service plan, and a 3year/120 000km warranty.

Thanks to Siya, Matt, Yusuf , Nozipho and the entire team for an awesome launch.

Yours in motoring.
Wezile Lorenzio Bonani

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