The Polo SUV will be the first compact Volkswagen to be spun off the VW Group’s versatile new MQB platform, underpinnings that will be used across an expanded next-generation Polo range.
VW R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed to Autocar at the Paris show that an SUV in the ‘A0 segment’ — VW’s code for supermini-sized models — was at the top of the firm’s priority list for new model development.
“We have to increase our SUV offerings,” he said. “It’s important we get in the A0 SUV segment, and we’re working on it.” Hackenberg didn’t confirm an exact launch date for the new model, but hinted at 2014.
Styling inspiration for the new Polo SUV, previewed here in our artist’s impression, will come from the VW Cross Coupé concept seen at the 2011 Tokyo motor show.
At the time, design chief Klaus Bischoff said the concept previewed “the future face of all VW SUVs”.
Hackenberg said the Polo SUV would be adapted for different markets. A more basic version is likely to offered in emerging markets, while European versions will be more technically sophisticated and premium in both look and feel.
Both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive will be offered, but the bulk of sales will come from front-drive models. VW sources have hinted that two more SUVs are set to be previewed as concepts over the next three months.
A new Up-based entry-level SUV is tipped to be unveiled at the Sao Paulo motor show at the end of the month, while at the Detroit show in January, VW is set to show an SUV based on the US-market Passat, although this model is unlikely to make it to Europe.