Facelifted Volkswagen Polo production begins in South Africa
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KARIEGA - South African production of the facelifted Volkswagen Polo has commenced at the company’s manufacturing plant in the Eastern Cape, but local buyers will have to wait until the first quarter of 2022 to see it in local showrooms.
South Africa is one of just four countries that produces the Volkswagen Polo, the others being Brazil, China and Spain, and the local plant is also the world's sole supplier of the Polo GTI. VWSA also produces all of the world’s right-hand drive Polos and supplies a few left-hand drive markets too.
More than 400 000 current-generation Polos have been produced locally since 2018, with over 80% of them having been exported.
The 2022 facelifted Volkswagen Polo comes to the party with sharpened styling and upgraded tech.
At the front of the car we see new LED headlights, with available Matrix technology, and there’s now a light strip that connects them via the grille. At the back the Polo gets reshaped LED taillights which now run into the tailgate to give it a closer resemblance to the Golf 8, and the compact hatch also gets trendy ‘Polo’ block letters beneath the VW badge.
The engine range continues as before, with most models powered by a 1-litre turbopetrol unit offered in 70kW and 81kW guises. The 2-litre turbopetrol GTI, with 152kW, is more powerful, to the tune of 5kW, for 2022.
South African prices and specifications will only be announced later this year, but it’s interesting to note that the European models gain some new tech features. These include the new IQ.Drive Travel Assist system that allows for partially automated driving. It does this by combining Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Assist. European models receive a spec boost too, with digital instrumentation now standard along with Lane Assist and heated mirrors amongst other things, but it’s not known at this stage whether local models will receive similar enhancements.
“The Volkswagen Polo is the second best-selling passenger vehicle in South Africa (behind the Polo Vivo) and an important derivative for our brand. In 2021 alone, we have sold over 10 000 Polos in the local market giving Volkswagen a share of 21.8% in the A0 Hatch segment,” said VW’s passenger car head Steffen Knapp.
Watch this space for more info on the new Volkswagen Polo as it becomes available.