The Volkswagen Polo is a car produced by the German manufacturer Volkswagen since 1975. It is sold in Europe and other markets worldwide in hatchback, sedan and estate variants. The Polo has been produced in six generations. Related Volkswagen Group models include the Skoda Fabia, SEAT Ibiza and Audi A1.
The Volkswagen Polo won the 2010 World Car of the Year.
Some generations were facelifted midway through production, with the updated versions known unofficially by an addition of the letter F to the mark number, e.g. Mk2F. Some press and enthusiasts consider the facelifts to be separate models and hence have used the unofficial designations Polo Mk1 to Mk7 for previous generations. Each model of Polo is also identified by a two or three character Volkswagen Group Typ number. Official VW Polo history describes Mark I to Mark IV using either Roman numerals or Arabic numerals, with facelifted variants known as "Phase II" models.
The Polo Mk2 and Mk2F were available as supercharged G40 models. The GT G40 with its 1.3-litre 85 kW (114 hp) could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 seconds from standstill and had a maximum speed of 196 km/h (122 mph). It was used by Volkswagen to set a number of world endurance speed records, such as the 1.3-litre class records for speed over 24 hours and speed over a distance of 5,000 km (3,100 mi).
The first Polo was effectively a rebadged version of the Audi 50 hatchback launched in August 1974. The Audi 50 was discontinued in 1978 as Audi concentrated on larger luxury models. The Mk1 and Mk2 versions of the Polo were then standalone models in the Volkswagen range.
With the expansion of the Volkswagen Group: Audi (in the 1960s), SEAT (in the 1980s) and Skoda (in the 1990s) were acquired, and the platform used for the Polo was shared with other models.
The Polo shared its platform with the SEAT Ibiza Mk2. The Ibiza was actually launched before the Polo Mk3 and shared essentially all its mechanicals, the dashboard and other interior components, although there were no body panels shared between the two cars. The saloon and estate versions of the Polo Mk3 were actually rebadged SEAT Cordoba models and had no body panels in common with the Polo hatchback. The SEAT Inca and Volkswagen Caddy vans were also based on this model. The Volkswagen Lupo and SEAT Arosa were also based on a shortened version of the Polo Mk3 platform.