Polo BlueMotion 2005-2009

BlueMotion identifies the most fuel efficient model in each of Volkswagen’s passenger car ranges.  Applied to the Polo this translates to a combined economy figure of 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2.

The Polo BlueMotion was launched in February 2006 at the Geneva Motor Show before going on sale in mainland Europe in June of the same year.  The model made its UK debut at the Sexy Green Car Show at the Eden Project in March 2007 prior to right hand drive sales commencing in Autumn 2007.

Based on a conventional Polo bodyshell the BlueMotion version was designed and developed by Volkswagen Individual, a separate engineering department assigned to special projects.  Based in Wolfsburg Volkswagen Individual was founded in 2003.  Here engineers concentrated on maximising each element of the Polo to make it as efficient as possible.  The vehicle’s aerodynamics, engine, gearbox, wheels, tyres, interior and body sound deadening were all affected by the transformation from a conventional vehicle into a Polo BlueMotion.

Among the most noticeable of the changes are the aerodynamic aids designed to smooth airflow over the vehicle and reduce drag.  These encompass an elegant new grille section, an extension to the lower lip on the front bumper and a subtly integrated wing attached to the trailing edge of the rear window.  These changes are complimented by lightweight alloy wheels and low rolling resistance tyres.

Unlike the standard Polo, which comes with a choice of five petrol and three diesel units, ranging in power from 60 to 150 PS, the BlueMotion is available with a single engine – a bespoke version of the 80 PS 1.4-litre TDI unit.  Featuring a turbocharger specific to this engine and Electronic Gas Recirculation (EGR) to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions the engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox fitted with revised ratios for 3rd, 4th and 5th gears.   

The new Polo BlueMotion is one of the safest superminis, with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), plus driver and front passenger airbags as standard on every model.  The Polo BlueMotion is also fitted with driver and passenger side airbags.  A curtain airbag system is a low cost option.  More than this, the Polo has high levels of torsional rigidity, leading to improved crash performance, high levels of refinement and good driving dynamics.

Enhancing the feeling of safety in the Polo is the car’s size.  The latest model is 19 mm longer than the previous model – that’s longer than even a Golf Mk I.  Though large enough to be considered as a family car rather than a traditional supermini, the Polo is not as big as the latest Golf.

The Polo has an advanced electro-mechanical power assisted steering system which adapts steering assistance to suit the speed and weight of the vehicle.  It also saves fuel compared with a conventional power steering system, as it only requires power when the wheel is turned.

Two specification levels are available – BlueMotion 1 and BlueMotion 2 – and both three- and five-door bodystyles.

Summary

  • International debut at theGeneva show in February 2006, UK debut at the Sexy Green Car Show at the Eden Project in March 2007.  UK sales commence in Autumn 2007
  • Polo BlueMotion is built at the Navarra production plant near Pamplona in Spain
  • Offered in two trim levels; BlueMotion 1 and BlueMotion 2
  • The Polo BlueMotion has a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 74.3 mpg and CO2 of 99 g/km.  The BlueMotion 2 is equipped with Climatic air conditioning and other additional items to sit at the top of the BlueMotion range
  • Original Polo was first launched in the UK in 1975
  • Dimensions of the Polo BlueMotion; 3,916 mm in length, 1,650 mm wide and 1,467 mm in height
  • Equipped with a revised version of the 1.4-litre three-cylinder 80 PS TDI engine fitted with a modified turbocharger and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) linked to a five-speed manual gearbox with longer ratios for third, fourth and fifth gears
  • Comprehensive safety features include ABS with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist) and driver and front passenger front and side airbags.  A curtain airbag system is optional
  • Though the Polo has undergone substantial changes over time, the values that have made the car a success for over 30 years – quality, safety, solidity, style and value for money – remain the foundations on which any developments are based

DESIGN

Exterior design

Form follows function with the new Polo BlueMotion.  Each element of the exterior design has been assessed and, if necessary, altered to make it more aerodynamically efficient.  The grille section has been replaced by an all-new element that helps smooth air flow over the bonnet.  At the base of the front bumper a deep splitter section has been added.  On the trailing edge of the rear window is a subtle yet effective rear spoiler.  The result is a coefficient of drag figure of 0.30.

Further increases in efficiency are made possible by a set of lightweight, multispoke alloy wheels fitted with a set of low rolling resistance tyres.

Distinguishing the Polo BlueMotion from the rest of the Polo range are wing mirrors finished in silver paired with a subtle silver strip on the trailing edge of the rear bumper.  Five colours will be available on the Polo BlueMotion, ranging from black through Grey Anthracite, Reflex Silver and Ice Silver to Candy White.

Interior design

Unique materials help the BlueMotion’s interior stand out from the rest of the Polo range.  The seats are finished in an all-new green textured ‘popcorn’ cloth to lend the interior a vibrant and distinctive new look.  Behind the three-spoke steering wheel lies an electronic trip computer giving a wide range of data including instantaneous and average fuel consumption figures and average speed.  

High quality interiors have for some time been synonymous with the Volkswagen name.  So much so, that it ’s perhaps easy to take for granted the high quality materials and trim, simple but classic styling, ergonomic excellence and attention to detail found in the Polo and its siblings.

All models have a rake and reach adjustable steering wheel.  The tailgate opens to 2,013 mm high, allowing unobstructed boot loading, while the bootspace is highly competitive at 270 litres (1,030 litres with the rear seats folded).  In addition, the luggage area is practical in shape, with rear wheel arch intrusion minimised and four load lashing points improve convenience and safety.

In the cabin, generous storage for oddments is provided.  Live with the Polo for a while and you’ll soon discover there’s a place to put everything, from a map to a phone, to loose change. 

At night, the Polo displays Volkswagen’s customary blue subsurface dial illumination, which contrasts with red lighting for the needles.  The centre console is also designed to be stylish and functional, with the most frequently used controls – those for the stereo – at the top.  Underneath are the heating and ventilation controls.

Although focused on economy the Polo BlueMotion retains high levels of standard equipment.  In the BlueMotion 1 this includes a CD stereo with four speakers, electric windows, a trip computer and ABS along with a total of four airbags for the driver and passenger.  The BlueMotion 2 adds Climatic air conditioning, leather trim on the steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake, automatic coming home lighting, rain sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

It would be impossible to list here all the features which make the Polo’s interior a nice place to be.  Suffice it to say, everything has been planned with the occupants’ comfort, convenience and safety in mind.

Underbody design

Though not the most exciting area of a car and indeed rarely seen, it would be a mistake not to mention the Polo’s plastic underbody trim.  Not only has Volkswagen cut the amount of PVC used here, but at the end of the car’s life, this can be fully recycled – a real consideration with new end of life legislation.  What’s more, this trim has been designed to produce a spoiler effect, reducing aerodynamic lift over the rear wheels at speed.

Quality production

All of the Polo’s panels are galvanised.  This means they are treated with zinc phosphate coating, cathodic dip coating, an application of water-based filler coat, followed by the water-based paint coat and two-pack clear varnish.  All hinges and fastenings are also galvanised, giving protection to areas typically vulnerable to corrosion, such as flanged joints, screw fixings and cavities.  Epoxy resin is also used in bonding to enhance corrosion protection, and cavities are flooded with solvent-free hot wax.

Galvanisation not only gives the Polo a 12 year body protection warranty, but also means the body is able to withstand greater forces and provides occupants with superior protection in the event of a crash.  High levels of torsional rigidity (stiffness) also improve refinement and handling.  This benefit permits class-leading narrow panel fit and eliminates body creaking noises over uneven surfaces. 

Some 68 per cent of the Polo’s superstructure is made of high strength steel.  For example, the B pillar load bearing element consists of ultra high strength steel with a yield point of CPW 800 – that’s five times greater than the equivalent value for normal bodywork steels.

High quality production techniques also enhance the Polo’s appearance.  All the important bodywork seams on the Polo are laser-welded, but because the panels are galvanised, a high degree of technical expertise is required.  By mastering laser-brazing technology, it has been possible to join the roof seamlessly with the two large side panels, eliminating the need for a roof trim strip or gutter.  This makes the Polo stronger and more rigid, enhancing safety and driveability.

No other manufacturer has had a stronger influence on ‘panel gap width’ than Volkswagen.  The classic ‘door slamming’ test, which has become a trademark of the manufacturer, is only possible thanks to the highest quality, precision engineering found in Volkswagen’s factories.

Furthermore, by designing the Polo to make use of components used in other Group products, Volkswagen is able to purchase high quality materials and parts in bulk.  By saving costs here, Volkswagen can offer higher value products at lower prices, and spend resources on specific Polo items, such as body shell and trim.

Efficient production methods

The Polo BlueMotion is produced at Volkswagen’s Navarra plant near Pamplona in Spain .  The plant, which occupies a space of around 1,630,000 square metres, produced a total of 234,170 vehicles in 2006 and employs around 4,000 workers.

Every element of the plant and the production processes are examined and continually improved to maximise efficiency.  The rainwater falling on the roof of the plant is collected and reused; fresh water goes through up to six full cycles of use before it exits the plant.  Excess paint is collected and reused on ancillary components such as wheel arch linings to cut down on waste.

Further efficiencies are made by transferring the completed Polo BlueMotions by rail from the plant to the port in nearby Bilbau.  At the port the vehicles are loaded onto a cargo ship (containing approximately 750 vehicles per sailing) before making the journey to the UK .

Recycling

From the very earliest stages of the Polo’s inception recycling was worked into the design brief.  This extends into the design and construction of every component to make it easier to be stripped apart.  Materials are identified that can be efficiently extracted and reused – even the stuffing from within the seats is recyclable.

Volkswagen partnered a German firm called SiCon in 2001 to create a pioneering new recycling initiative named the Volkswagen-SiCon Process.  The process allows materials usually given up as waste at the end of the vehicle recycling process to be broken down into their component parts before being reused.  SiCon’s aim is to allow up to 95 per cent of a vehicle’s components to be recycled.

In 2006 the Volkswagen-SiCon process was honoured with a European Business Award for the environment.  In June 2007 Volkswagen was issued with a certificate for innovative environmentally sound strategy from the federal motor transport authority in Germany .

ENGINE

The Polo BlueMotion is equipped with an advanced, three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDI diesel engine developing 80 PS at 4,000 rpm and 144 lbs ft of torque at 1,800 rpm.

Although having much in common with the 1.4-litre TDI engine fitted to other models in the Polo range several changes have been made to make it more efficient for application in the BlueMotion.

A new turbocharger featuring variable turbine geometry is linked to Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) to improve performance and make the engine more responsive. A Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is fitted to the exhaust system to reduce diesel particulates further.

All the engines in the Polo are transversely installed, and pendulum mounted from two upper supports.  Due to a sophisticated installation system, consisting of hydraulic engine mounting and rubber mountings at the gearbox end, the Polo is designed to be refined and free from vibrations, even at lower engine speeds.

When Volkswagen launched its new generation of TDI engines in 1996, it coincided with a significant leap forward for diesel technology.  Then at the end of 1999, Volkswagen raised expectations still higher with the launch of ‘Pumpe Düse’ or ‘PD’ technology.  Pumpe Düse translates as ‘unit injector’, a fuel injection system which can operate at pressures of up to 2050 bars or 30,000 psi.

It provides better atomisation of the fuel for high torque and power with low emissions and high fuel efficiency.  These Volkswagen diesels are capable of converting up to 43 per cent of the thermal energy in the fuel into mechanical energy for powering the car.

PD technology combines the injector and pump into one unit for each cylinder.  Each unit injector is operated by its own cam on the engine camshaft.  A fine adjustment of the fuel injection process coupled with much higher pressures enables Volkswagen to attain a class-leading position in low fuel consumption, high power and attainment of Euro 4 emissions.

1.4-litre, 1422 cc, 6-valve 3-cyl, 80 PS TDI

Combining exceptional economy, refinement and performance, this new version of Volkswagen’s acclaimed three-cylinder turbocharged direct injection engine uses PD unit injector technology operating at temperatures of up to 2,050 bar.  A maximum of 144 lbs ft of torque is developed at 1,800 rpm.  In an urban environment the engine allows the Polo BlueMotion to attain 57.6 mpg on the urban cycle, 88.3 mpg on the extra-urban cycle and 74.3 mpg on the combined cycle.  The Polo BlueMotion emits 99 g/km of CO2.  This means it falls into Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) Band ‘A’ and as such is exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty.

Gearbox

Five-speed manual

The Polo BlueMotion uses an adapted version of the standard car’s five-speed ‘MQ250’ manual gearbox.  The gearbox casing is left untouched, however the upper ratios are longer with third, fourth and fifth gears extended to reduce engine speeds and maximise economy.  In fifth gear 70 mph equates to a little over 2,000 rpm.

The MQ250 manual gearbox is characterised by a light and precise action, quiet running and long life.  From a design point of view, it’s compact and lightweight, helping to keep the overall vehicle weight low.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Polo BlueMotion.  They can choose Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing (recommended) and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

The Time and Distance Service is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 (approx) miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, heavy acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

The LongLife Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.  With the LongLife system, it can be possible to drive for up to 20,000 miles or 24 months without a major service. 

Customers can choose between Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR

The Polo BlueMotion features a strut-type front axle with lower wishbones, and a torsion beam trailing arm rear axle.

Front axle

At the front, the Polo BlueMotion has a subframe consisting of a steel cross member fabricated from two pressed steel ‘shells’ welded together and two light alloy adaptor brackets.  This has two key advantages: not only is weight significantly reduced, but the ‘modular’ system makes it possible to match the subframe to the different engines and exhausts.  The subframe reduces rolling noise and optimises the car’s driving characteristics.  On road, this gives the Polo a sporting and nimble feel.

The Polo’s lightweight struts and offset coil springs are located in the damper strut and designed in conjunction with a decoupled strut mounting to give better roll comfort.  Lightweight wheel bearing technologies have also been employed to further enhance ride and handling; they are maintenance-free, requiring no adjustment on assembly or during servicing.

Rear axle

At the rear the torsion beam trailing arm rear axle continues as before.  Essentially a ‘V’ shaped tube, engineers can adjust the torsional characteristics by varying the wall thicknesses and geometry of the torsion beam to influence driving characteristics.  This system also eradicates the need for an anti-roll bar, thereby saving weight.  The axle is attached to the vehicle itself via large bonded rubber mountings, the diagonal location of which reduces lateral forces and improves high speed stability.

Electro-mechanical power assisted steering

Coupled to the front axle is an adaptive steering system.  The basic design is a conventional power steering rack; however, the amount of hydraulic assistance generated by an electric pump, is adapted to the vehicle’s speed and weight.  This has several advantages: it enhances steering ‘feel’; makes the car easy to drive, especially around town and when parking; and reduces fuel consumption as electro-hydraulic energy is only provided when needed.

This is in contrast to a traditional steering system in which the servo pressure has to be constantly maintained.  The new system uses a map control, gathering data from sensors to ensure the right assistance is given.  As a result, it is also possible to adapt the steering system to the vehicle weight and desired mode. 

Braking system

All Polos have four-channel ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution) and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist) as standard.  The Polo BlueMotion adopts ventilated brake discs (256 mm) at the front and self-adjusting rear drum brakes (200 mm). 

Hydraulic Brake Assist – HBA

HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Polo BlueMotion is available with two different trim levels and with three or five doors.  The line-up consists of BlueMotion 1 and BlueMotion 2.

BlueMotion 1

Despite its keen focus on economy the BlueMotion is comprehensively specified, with the following standard feature highlights:

  • ABS with EBD and HBA
  • driver and front passenger airbags
  • front side impact airbags
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • electro-mechanical power-assisted steering
  • redesigned BlueMotion grille section, front splitter and rear wing
  • silver-coloured door mirrors, body-coloured handles, bumper strips and side bump strips
  • radio/MP3 compatible CD player with four speakers
  • electric front and rear windows (five-door model)
  • electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors
  • electronic trip computer
  • unique BlueMotion ‘popcorn’ cloth trim
  • lightweight ‘ Jerez ’ 14” alloy wheels with 165/70 R14 hard compound economy tyres
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • three rear head restraints and three point seat belts
  • Isofix preparation for two rear child seats

BlueMotion 2

The 2 trim level adds the following over the standard BlueMotion trim:

  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • automatic coming home lighting function
  • rain sensing windscreen wipers and an automatic dimming rear-view mirror
  • leather trim for the steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • remote central locking and alarm

SAFETY

In designing the Polo, Volkswagen’s engineers set out to make the safest car in its class and naturally no safety elements are compromised in the BlueMotion despite its focus on economy.

Frontal collision

The front structure of the Polo is composed of energy-absorbing and energy-distributing structural elements, with particular attention being paid to the quality and thickness of metal.  The protection offered by the front bulkhead member in the footwell has also been enhanced.

A particularly important feature of the Polo is the decoupling of the subframe from the side member; here footwell deformation is minimised.  Volkswagen also makes use of a new Crash Optimised Pedal system, whereby the brake and clutch pedals fold forward to reduce the risk of dangerous foot injuries.

Side collision

Using computer generated simulations, engineers were also able to optimise the Polo’s performance in a side-on collision.  As a result and following physical trials, lateral intrusion is minimised during a collision.

Rear collision

In this area, the Polo meets the strictest US safety directives, including a 50 km/h collision with a 1,800 kg barrier.  Among other performance criteria, absolute leak-proofing of the fuel tank must be guaranteed for this test to be passed.  The 45 litre fuel tank is installed in the crash-protected area in front of the rear axle, and is made entirely of plastic.  It meets all the requirements of evaporation emissions directives.

Airbag systems

All Polos feature twin front airbags as standard as well as front side impact airbags (not on E 60 PS).  The volume of the driver’s front airbag is 64 litres, while the passenger bag measures 95 litres.  In the event of an accident, a signal from the airbag sensor causes the fuel supply to the engine to be cut immediately. 

Curtain airbag system

In addition to the Polo’s standard airbags, customers can specify Volkswagen’s curtain airbag system, for extra protection.  In the event of a side impact crash, airbags open up along the side window surface to protect the head and upper torso of the window seat passengers. 

Child passenger protection

All Polos come as standard with two rear seat Isofix seat mounting brackets.  These are attached to the body of the car and allow a compatible Isofix standard child seat to be installed and hence safely carried.   Research has shown that 75 per cent of parents do not correctly thread a seat belt through a child seat, but the Isofix system eliminates any risk of incorrect fitting.

For added convenience and safety, it is possible to deactivate the passenger airbag so that a rear-facing child seat can be mounted and safely transported in the passenger seat.  The lock for this function can be found in the glove compartment and is operated using the ignition key.  This is a low-cost option on all Polo models.

Euro NCAP test results

The Polo was awarded four stars in the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) safety tests for adult occupant protection.  It scored a one star pedestrian rating.

SECURITY

All Polo BlueMotions have an electronic immobiliser and central locking.  The BlueMotion 2 gains remote central locking with an alarm.

All Polos feature an integrated factory-fitted stereo radio/CD player which is Volkswagen branded and security coded.  When the car is left switched off, it also has a flashing LED as an added deterrent.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive safety, security and accident repair costs, the Polo has secured the following insurance ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).

BlueMotion 1

1.4-litre TDI 80 PS                   5E

BlueMotion 2

1.4-litre TDI 80 PS                   5E

WARRANTIES

The Polo BlueMotion has a three year (first and second year unlimited mileage manufacturer operated and third year 60,000 mile retailer operated) mechanical warranty. 

In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year body protection guarantee, three year paintwork warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

BlueMotion identifies the most fuel efficient model in each of Volkswagen’s passenger car ranges.  Applied to the Polo this translates to a combined economy figure of 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2.

The Polo BlueMotion was launched in February 2006 at the Geneva Motor Show before going on sale in mainland Europe in June of the same year.  The model made its UK debut at the Sexy Green Car Show at the Eden Project in March 2007 prior to right hand drive sales commencing in Autumn 2007.

Based on a conventional Polo bodyshell the BlueMotion version was designed and developed by Volkswagen Individual, a separate engineering department assigned to special projects.  Based in Wolfsburg Volkswagen Individual was founded in 2003.  Here engineers concentrated on maximising each element of the Polo to make it as efficient as possible.  The vehicle’s aerodynamics, engine, gearbox, wheels, tyres, interior and body sound deadening were all affected by the transformation from a conventional vehicle into a Polo BlueMotion.

Among the most noticeable of the changes are the aerodynamic aids designed to smooth airflow over the vehicle and reduce drag.  These encompass an elegant new grille section, an extension to the lower lip on the front bumper and a subtly integrated wing attached to the trailing edge of the rear window.  These changes are complimented by lightweight alloy wheels and low rolling resistance tyres.

Unlike the standard Polo, which comes with a choice of five petrol and three diesel units, ranging in power from 60 to 150 PS, the BlueMotion is available with a single engine – a bespoke version of the 80 PS 1.4-litre TDI unit.  Featuring a turbocharger specific to this engine and Electronic Gas Recirculation (EGR) to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions the engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox fitted with revised ratios for 3rd, 4th and 5th gears.   

The new Polo BlueMotion is one of the safest superminis, with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), plus driver and front passenger airbags as standard on every model.  The Polo BlueMotion is also fitted with driver and passenger side airbags.  A curtain airbag system is a low cost option.  More than this, the Polo has high levels of torsional rigidity, leading to improved crash performance, high levels of refinement and good driving dynamics.

Enhancing the feeling of safety in the Polo is the car’s size.  The latest model is 19 mm longer than the previous model – that’s longer than even a Golf Mk I.  Though large enough to be considered as a family car rather than a traditional supermini, the Polo is not as big as the latest Golf.

The Polo has an advanced electro-mechanical power assisted steering system which adapts steering assistance to suit the speed and weight of the vehicle.  It also saves fuel compared with a conventional power steering system, as it only requires power when the wheel is turned.

Two specification levels are available – BlueMotion 1 and BlueMotion 2 – and both three- and five-door bodystyles.

Summary

  • International debut at theGeneva show in February 2006, UK debut at the Sexy Green Car Show at the Eden Project in March 2007.  UK sales commence in Autumn 2007
  • Polo BlueMotion is built at the Navarra production plant near Pamplona in Spain
  • Offered in two trim levels; BlueMotion 1 and BlueMotion 2
  • The Polo BlueMotion has a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 74.3 mpg and CO2 of 99 g/km.  The BlueMotion 2 is equipped with Climatic air conditioning and other additional items to sit at the top of the BlueMotion range
  • Original Polo was first launched in the UK in 1975
  • Dimensions of the Polo BlueMotion; 3,916 mm in length, 1,650 mm wide and 1,467 mm in height
  • Equipped with a revised version of the 1.4-litre three-cylinder 80 PS TDI engine fitted with a modified turbocharger and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) linked to a five-speed manual gearbox with longer ratios for third, fourth and fifth gears
  • Comprehensive safety features include ABS with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist) and driver and front passenger front and side airbags.  A curtain airbag system is optional
  • Though the Polo has undergone substantial changes over time, the values that have made the car a success for over 30 years – quality, safety, solidity, style and value for money – remain the foundations on which any developments are based

DESIGN

Exterior design

Form follows function with the new Polo BlueMotion.  Each element of the exterior design has been assessed and, if necessary, altered to make it more aerodynamically efficient.  The grille section has been replaced by an all-new element that helps smooth air flow over the bonnet.  At the base of the front bumper a deep splitter section has been added.  On the trailing edge of the rear window is a subtle yet effective rear spoiler.  The result is a coefficient of drag figure of 0.30.

Further increases in efficiency are made possible by a set of lightweight, multispoke alloy wheels fitted with a set of low rolling resistance tyres.

Distinguishing the Polo BlueMotion from the rest of the Polo range are wing mirrors finished in silver paired with a subtle silver strip on the trailing edge of the rear bumper.  Five colours will be available on the Polo BlueMotion, ranging from black through Grey Anthracite, Reflex Silver and Ice Silver to Candy White.

Interior design

Unique materials help the BlueMotion’s interior stand out from the rest of the Polo range.  The seats are finished in an all-new green textured ‘popcorn’ cloth to lend the interior a vibrant and distinctive new look.  Behind the three-spoke steering wheel lies an electronic trip computer giving a wide range of data including instantaneous and average fuel consumption figures and average speed.  

High quality interiors have for some time been synonymous with the Volkswagen name.  So much so, that it ’s perhaps easy to take for granted the high quality materials and trim, simple but classic styling, ergonomic excellence and attention to detail found in the Polo and its siblings.

All models have a rake and reach adjustable steering wheel.  The tailgate opens to 2,013 mm high, allowing unobstructed boot loading, while the bootspace is highly competitive at 270 litres (1,030 litres with the rear seats folded).  In addition, the luggage area is practical in shape, with rear wheel arch intrusion minimised and four load lashing points improve convenience and safety.

In the cabin, generous storage for oddments is provided.  Live with the Polo for a while and you’ll soon discover there’s a place to put everything, from a map to a phone, to loose change. 

At night, the Polo displays Volkswagen’s customary blue subsurface dial illumination, which contrasts with red lighting for the needles.  The centre console is also designed to be stylish and functional, with the most frequently used controls – those for the stereo – at the top.  Underneath are the heating and ventilation controls.

Although focused on economy the Polo BlueMotion retains high levels of standard equipment.  In the BlueMotion 1 this includes a CD stereo with four speakers, electric windows, a trip computer and ABS along with a total of four airbags for the driver and passenger.  The BlueMotion 2 adds Climatic air conditioning, leather trim on the steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake, automatic coming home lighting, rain sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

It would be impossible to list here all the features which make the Polo’s interior a nice place to be.  Suffice it to say, everything has been planned with the occupants’ comfort, convenience and safety in mind.

Underbody design

Though not the most exciting area of a car and indeed rarely seen, it would be a mistake not to mention the Polo’s plastic underbody trim.  Not only has Volkswagen cut the amount of PVC used here, but at the end of the car’s life, this can be fully recycled – a real consideration with new end of life legislation.  What’s more, this trim has been designed to produce a spoiler effect, reducing aerodynamic lift over the rear wheels at speed.

Quality production

All of the Polo’s panels are galvanised.  This means they are treated with zinc phosphate coating, cathodic dip coating, an application of water-based filler coat, followed by the water-based paint coat and two-pack clear varnish.  All hinges and fastenings are also galvanised, giving protection to areas typically vulnerable to corrosion, such as flanged joints, screw fixings and cavities.  Epoxy resin is also used in bonding to enhance corrosion protection, and cavities are flooded with solvent-free hot wax.

Galvanisation not only gives the Polo a 12 year body protection warranty, but also means the body is able to withstand greater forces and provides occupants with superior protection in the event of a crash.  High levels of torsional rigidity (stiffness) also improve refinement and handling.  This benefit permits class-leading narrow panel fit and eliminates body creaking noises over uneven surfaces. 

Some 68 per cent of the Polo’s superstructure is made of high strength steel.  For example, the B pillar load bearing element consists of ultra high strength steel with a yield point of CPW 800 – that’s five times greater than the equivalent value for normal bodywork steels.

High quality production techniques also enhance the Polo’s appearance.  All the important bodywork seams on the Polo are laser-welded, but because the panels are galvanised, a high degree of technical expertise is required.  By mastering laser-brazing technology, it has been possible to join the roof seamlessly with the two large side panels, eliminating the need for a roof trim strip or gutter.  This makes the Polo stronger and more rigid, enhancing safety and driveability.

No other manufacturer has had a stronger influence on ‘panel gap width’ than Volkswagen.  The classic ‘door slamming’ test, which has become a trademark of the manufacturer, is only possible thanks to the highest quality, precision engineering found in Volkswagen’s factories.

Furthermore, by designing the Polo to make use of components used in other Group products, Volkswagen is able to purchase high quality materials and parts in bulk.  By saving costs here, Volkswagen can offer higher value products at lower prices, and spend resources on specific Polo items, such as body shell and trim.

Efficient production methods

The Polo BlueMotion is produced at Volkswagen’s Navarra plant near Pamplona in Spain .  The plant, which occupies a space of around 1,630,000 square metres, produced a total of 234,170 vehicles in 2006 and employs around 4,000 workers.

Every element of the plant and the production processes are examined and continually improved to maximise efficiency.  The rainwater falling on the roof of the plant is collected and reused; fresh water goes through up to six full cycles of use before it exits the plant.  Excess paint is collected and reused on ancillary components such as wheel arch linings to cut down on waste.

Further efficiencies are made by transferring the completed Polo BlueMotions by rail from the plant to the port in nearby Bilbau.  At the port the vehicles are loaded onto a cargo ship (containing approximately 750 vehicles per sailing) before making the journey to the UK .

Recycling

From the very earliest stages of the Polo’s inception recycling was worked into the design brief.  This extends into the design and construction of every component to make it easier to be stripped apart.  Materials are identified that can be efficiently extracted and reused – even the stuffing from within the seats is recyclable.

Volkswagen partnered a German firm called SiCon in 2001 to create a pioneering new recycling initiative named the Volkswagen-SiCon Process.  The process allows materials usually given up as waste at the end of the vehicle recycling process to be broken down into their component parts before being reused.  SiCon’s aim is to allow up to 95 per cent of a vehicle’s components to be recycled.

In 2006 the Volkswagen-SiCon process was honoured with a European Business Award for the environment.  In June 2007 Volkswagen was issued with a certificate for innovative environmentally sound strategy from the federal motor transport authority in Germany .

ENGINE

The Polo BlueMotion is equipped with an advanced, three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDI diesel engine developing 80 PS at 4,000 rpm and 144 lbs ft of torque at 1,800 rpm.

Although having much in common with the 1.4-litre TDI engine fitted to other models in the Polo range several changes have been made to make it more efficient for application in the BlueMotion.

A new turbocharger featuring variable turbine geometry is linked to Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) to improve performance and make the engine more responsive. A Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is fitted to the exhaust system to reduce diesel particulates further.

All the engines in the Polo are transversely installed, and pendulum mounted from two upper supports.  Due to a sophisticated installation system, consisting of hydraulic engine mounting and rubber mountings at the gearbox end, the Polo is designed to be refined and free from vibrations, even at lower engine speeds.

When Volkswagen launched its new generation of TDI engines in 1996, it coincided with a significant leap forward for diesel technology.  Then at the end of 1999, Volkswagen raised expectations still higher with the launch of ‘Pumpe Düse’ or ‘PD’ technology.  Pumpe Düse translates as ‘unit injector’, a fuel injection system which can operate at pressures of up to 2050 bars or 30,000 psi.

It provides better atomisation of the fuel for high torque and power with low emissions and high fuel efficiency.  These Volkswagen diesels are capable of converting up to 43 per cent of the thermal energy in the fuel into mechanical energy for powering the car.

PD technology combines the injector and pump into one unit for each cylinder.  Each unit injector is operated by its own cam on the engine camshaft.  A fine adjustment of the fuel injection process coupled with much higher pressures enables Volkswagen to attain a class-leading position in low fuel consumption, high power and attainment of Euro 4 emissions.

1.4-litre, 1422 cc, 6-valve 3-cyl, 80 PS TDI

Combining exceptional economy, refinement and performance, this new version of Volkswagen’s acclaimed three-cylinder turbocharged direct injection engine uses PD unit injector technology operating at temperatures of up to 2,050 bar.  A maximum of 144 lbs ft of torque is developed at 1,800 rpm.  In an urban environment the engine allows the Polo BlueMotion to attain 57.6 mpg on the urban cycle, 88.3 mpg on the extra-urban cycle and 74.3 mpg on the combined cycle.  The Polo BlueMotion emits 99 g/km of CO2.  This means it falls into Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) Band ‘A’ and as such is exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty.

Gearbox

Five-speed manual

The Polo BlueMotion uses an adapted version of the standard car’s five-speed ‘MQ250’ manual gearbox.  The gearbox casing is left untouched, however the upper ratios are longer with third, fourth and fifth gears extended to reduce engine speeds and maximise economy.  In fifth gear 70 mph equates to a little over 2,000 rpm.

The MQ250 manual gearbox is characterised by a light and precise action, quiet running and long life.  From a design point of view, it’s compact and lightweight, helping to keep the overall vehicle weight low.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Polo BlueMotion.  They can choose Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing (recommended) and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

The Time and Distance Service is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 (approx) miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly city centre driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, heavy acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

The LongLife Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.  With the LongLife system, it can be possible to drive for up to 20,000 miles or 24 months without a major service. 

Customers can choose between Time and Distance or LongLife Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR

The Polo BlueMotion features a strut-type front axle with lower wishbones, and a torsion beam trailing arm rear axle.

Front axle

At the front, the Polo BlueMotion has a subframe consisting of a steel cross member fabricated from two pressed steel ‘shells’ welded together and two light alloy adaptor brackets.  This has two key advantages: not only is weight significantly reduced, but the ‘modular’ system makes it possible to match the subframe to the different engines and exhausts.  The subframe reduces rolling noise and optimises the car’s driving characteristics.  On road, this gives the Polo a sporting and nimble feel.

The Polo’s lightweight struts and offset coil springs are located in the damper strut and designed in conjunction with a decoupled strut mounting to give better roll comfort.  Lightweight wheel bearing technologies have also been employed to further enhance ride and handling; they are maintenance-free, requiring no adjustment on assembly or during servicing.

Rear axle

At the rear the torsion beam trailing arm rear axle continues as before.  Essentially a ‘V’ shaped tube, engineers can adjust the torsional characteristics by varying the wall thicknesses and geometry of the torsion beam to influence driving characteristics.  This system also eradicates the need for an anti-roll bar, thereby saving weight.  The axle is attached to the vehicle itself via large bonded rubber mountings, the diagonal location of which reduces lateral forces and improves high speed stability.

Electro-mechanical power assisted steering

Coupled to the front axle is an adaptive steering system.  The basic design is a conventional power steering rack; however, the amount of hydraulic assistance generated by an electric pump, is adapted to the vehicle’s speed and weight.  This has several advantages: it enhances steering ‘feel’; makes the car easy to drive, especially around town and when parking; and reduces fuel consumption as electro-hydraulic energy is only provided when needed.

This is in contrast to a traditional steering system in which the servo pressure has to be constantly maintained.  The new system uses a map control, gathering data from sensors to ensure the right assistance is given.  As a result, it is also possible to adapt the steering system to the vehicle weight and desired mode. 

Braking system

All Polos have four-channel ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution) and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist) as standard.  The Polo BlueMotion adopts ventilated brake discs (256 mm) at the front and self-adjusting rear drum brakes (200 mm). 

Hydraulic Brake Assist – HBA

HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Polo BlueMotion is available with two different trim levels and with three or five doors.  The line-up consists of BlueMotion 1 and BlueMotion 2.

BlueMotion 1

Despite its keen focus on economy the BlueMotion is comprehensively specified, with the following standard feature highlights:

  • ABS with EBD and HBA
  • driver and front passenger airbags
  • front side impact airbags
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • electro-mechanical power-assisted steering
  • redesigned BlueMotion grille section, front splitter and rear wing
  • silver-coloured door mirrors, body-coloured handles, bumper strips and side bump strips
  • radio/MP3 compatible CD player with four speakers
  • electric front and rear windows (five-door model)
  • electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors
  • electronic trip computer
  • unique BlueMotion ‘popcorn’ cloth trim
  • lightweight ‘ Jerez ’ 14” alloy wheels with 165/70 R14 hard compound economy tyres
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • three rear head restraints and three point seat belts
  • Isofix preparation for two rear child seats

BlueMotion 2

The 2 trim level adds the following over the standard BlueMotion trim:

  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • automatic coming home lighting function
  • rain sensing windscreen wipers and an automatic dimming rear-view mirror
  • leather trim for the steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • remote central locking and alarm

SAFETY

In designing the Polo, Volkswagen’s engineers set out to make the safest car in its class and naturally no safety elements are compromised in the BlueMotion despite its focus on economy.

Frontal collision

The front structure of the Polo is composed of energy-absorbing and energy-distributing structural elements, with particular attention being paid to the quality and thickness of metal.  The protection offered by the front bulkhead member in the footwell has also been enhanced.

A particularly important feature of the Polo is the decoupling of the subframe from the side member; here footwell deformation is minimised.  Volkswagen also makes use of a new Crash Optimised Pedal system, whereby the brake and clutch pedals fold forward to reduce the risk of dangerous foot injuries.

Side collision

Using computer generated simulations, engineers were also able to optimise the Polo’s performance in a side-on collision.  As a result and following physical trials, lateral intrusion is minimised during a collision.

Rear collision

In this area, the Polo meets the strictest US safety directives, including a 50 km/h collision with a 1,800 kg barrier.  Among other performance criteria, absolute leak-proofing of the fuel tank must be guaranteed for this test to be passed.  The 45 litre fuel tank is installed in the crash-protected area in front of the rear axle, and is made entirely of plastic.  It meets all the requirements of evaporation emissions directives.

Airbag systems

All Polos feature twin front airbags as standard as well as front side impact airbags (not on E 60 PS).  The volume of the driver’s front airbag is 64 litres, while the passenger bag measures 95 litres.  In the event of an accident, a signal from the airbag sensor causes the fuel supply to the engine to be cut immediately. 

Curtain airbag system

In addition to the Polo’s standard airbags, customers can specify Volkswagen’s curtain airbag system, for extra protection.  In the event of a side impact crash, airbags open up along the side window surface to protect the head and upper torso of the window seat passengers. 

Child passenger protection

All Polos come as standard with two rear seat Isofix seat mounting brackets.  These are attached to the body of the car and allow a compatible Isofix standard child seat to be installed and hence safely carried.   Research has shown that 75 per cent of parents do not correctly thread a seat belt through a child seat, but the Isofix system eliminates any risk of incorrect fitting.

For added convenience and safety, it is possible to deactivate the passenger airbag so that a rear-facing child seat can be mounted and safely transported in the passenger seat.  The lock for this function can be found in the glove compartment and is operated using the ignition key.  This is a low-cost option on all Polo models.

Euro NCAP test results

The Polo was awarded four stars in the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) safety tests for adult occupant protection.  It scored a one star pedestrian rating.

SECURITY

All Polo BlueMotions have an electronic immobiliser and central locking.  The BlueMotion 2 gains remote central locking with an alarm.

All Polos feature an integrated factory-fitted stereo radio/CD player which is Volkswagen branded and security coded.  When the car is left switched off, it also has a flashing LED as an added deterrent.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its impressive safety, security and accident repair costs, the Polo has secured the following insurance ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).

BlueMotion 1

1.4-litre TDI 80 PS                   5E

BlueMotion 2

1.4-litre TDI 80 PS                   5E

WARRANTIES

The Polo BlueMotion has a three year (first and second year unlimited mileage manufacturer operated and third year 60,000 mile retailer operated) mechanical warranty. 

In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year body protection guarantee, three year paintwork warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

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