Volkswagen will build a four-door notchback version of its Polo supermini in India, Russia and China and is also considering launching MPV, estate and convertible models off the same architecture.

According to product chief Dr Ulrich Hackenburg, it’s all part of VW’s desire to win the same prominence for Polo as the Golf has in the family hatchback market.

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The new four-door, based closely on the three- and five-door hatchbacks VW has so far launched, but with a wheelbase about 10cm longer, may also be offered in European markets, including Germany and the UK.

It will be launched in India and Russia next year, and in China as soon as a new plant near Pune is completed.

A baby SUV, called CrossPolo, is also planned.

Hackenburg says the company is determined to make the Polo “one of the most important Volkswagen models of all, rivalling the Golf in worldwide sales” VW bosses view the people-carrier (dubbed Polo Raum) and the estate (Polo Variant) as alternatives and are unlikely to build both. The Raum would use the saloon’s extended wheelbase.

Hackenburg says he prefers the estate, which he claims “looks great” and would be the easier of the two to put into production.

The convertible go-ahead awaits completion of full-size models and completion of a business plan.

Decisions about the proposed new models will be taken “within a few months”.

Steve Cropley

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