16 March 2005

The Polo is growing up, with this mid-life facelift copying the front-end looks of the new Passat. We caught VW’s new supermini undisguised last week (right), prompting the company to release these official shots of the revised car which goes on sale in June. VW has dropped the four-light arrangement in favour of the Passat’s traditional two-light layout, and the Polo even takes on the big saloon’s new v-shaped grille enveloping the numberplate. The rear has been reworked, with a new-shape rear window and revised tail lights.

The jacked-up Polo Dune will also get the changes, although not until the autumn.

The petrol engine line-up is unchanged, but there are new diesels. The old 63bhp 1.9 SDi and 74bhp 1.4 turbocharged TDi will both be dropped, replaced by new versions of the 1.4 in 69 and 79bhp tune.

There’s no offical word, though, on the mooted Polo GTi, which has been absent from the fourth-generation model despite platform-sharing siblings spawning quick versions in the form of the Seat Ibiza Cupra and Skoda Fabia vRS. Rumours suggest a hot version may be launched next year.

The facelifted Polo will be shown for the first time at the Leipzig Motor Show early next month, where it will be joined by the new Fox city car, which replaces the Lupo. The South American-built Fox is due to arrive in the UK this summer – but only in three-door form, to complement the Polo, which should remain more popular as a five-door in the UK.

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