Volkswagen was out in force at the Essen Techno Classica show, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the supermini Polo with some fantastic examples of the breed
Volkswagen Classic’s stand at the 2015 Essen Techno Classica was centered around this year’s big anniversary: 40 years of the Polo. The popular supermini has gone through many generations since 1975, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, a special example from each major generation was put on display.
Volkswagen is actively helping to support enthusiasts of its classics, with huge part availability from its classic parts department. And it always plays a big part in the display
The original: VW Polo Mk1
Arguably one of the best-looking superminis of all time, the 1975 VW Polo was originally badged as an Audi. This 1975 Oceanic Blue example is the more lavishly equipped L model, which features a 40bhp 0.9-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
The eco warrior: Polo Mk2 ‘Eco’ concept
The Mk2 ‘Breadvan’ was shown here in its 1988 eco-friendly concept car form. Much of the technology in this 0.9-litre 2-cylinder diesel concept car has made it into the production cars of today, such as direct injection, exhaust gas recirculation as well as a start-stop and freewheeling system. Thanks to the use of a G-Lader supercharger the hugely economical was said to produce 40bhp too.
The record breaker: VW Polo G40 ‘World Record’
This 129bhp Polo endurance car was put through its paces during a 24-hour record attempt at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessin test track, proving the effectiveness of the company’s new G-Lader supercharger system. Averaging a constant 208 km/h, it was a complete success.
The hot hatch: VW Polo G40
In 1992, the facelifted Polo G40 went into full-scale production. Under the bonnet, the supercharged engine produced 113bhp. If you’re wondering what the little white squares are, this exhibit was showing just how many new genuine parts are available through Volkswagen Classic.
The rag-top: VW Polo Mk3 Open Air
For the Mk3 version of the Volkswagen’s popular model, a new look was needed to bring the Polo into the 1990s. This special edition Open Air model, available in Europe, features a full-length electronic folding sunroof.
The dreamer: Polo Mk4 GTI Cabriolet
Built by Karmann, this fully functioning Polo GTI Cabriolet was never put into production. Unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt IAA, the most impressive feature is probably the electronically retractable glass rear window, allowing for unrestricted access to the boot.
The rally star: VW Polo Mk5 R WRC
In the hands of Sebastien Ogier, the 1.6-litre, 300bhp 2013 VW Polo R WRC won its first outing at the first special stage of the Monte Carlo Rally, signifying the start of something special. At the end of the 2013 World Rally Championship, the Polo and Ogier had taken the drivers and constructors championships.