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Preview: 2011 Volkswagen Polo

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2011 Volkswagen Polo Three-door

2011 Volkswagen Polo Three-door

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2011 Volkswagen Polo Three-door

2011 Volkswagen Polo Three-door

Enlarge Photo

2011 Volkswagen Polo Three-door

2011 Volkswagen Polo Three-door

Enlarge Photo

This spring, Volkswagen's Stefan Jacoby confirmed that the next Polo would be headed for U.S. sale, and now the first look at the new three-door variant has been released. Though the Polo is expected to grow slightly in both length and width for U.S. consumption, it will still feature the same core set of equipment and styling.

Helping VW meet its competition head-on in the rapidly expanding American small car segment, the Polo will be up against the likes of the new Ford Fiesta and the Chevrolet Spark. Unlike its competition, however, VW is planning to sell the Polo in sedan, five-door and three-door form factors. Pricing likely to start near the $14,000 mark and fuel efficiency in the 60-70 mpg range (Euro cycle, 75 horsepower engine) will make it an attractive package as well.

Due for its European market launch this fall, the Polo isn't expected to make it to the U.S. before early 2010, but when it does it will be powered by a range of four-cylinder engines also found in the European fleet, leaving out the smallest variants, though the 1.2-liter turbocharged direct-injected TSI unit, rated at 105 horsepower, is likely to make the trans-Atlantic trip.

Both diesel and gasoline versions are planned for Europe, but it's not clear yet if Americans will get the oil-burners. If a diesel variant does make it, it won't be until mid-2010, as the 1.2-liter TDI version won't be delivered in Europe until early next year. Both manual and 7-speed DSG automatic transmissions will be available.

Styling for the new Polo will bear a strong resemblance to the re-worked and re-named for the U.S. Golf (nee Rabbit), with strong horizontal planes and a corporate front-end that shares VW's new signature headlight shape and wide, narrow grille.

The three-door version revealed today promises sportier character, and it reflects that visually with a barely-visible B-pillar and a slender C-pillar to give the car a lower, longer look. A slight upward curve to the side window line give the car a more aggressive stance.

Antsy for a drive of the 2011 Polo? Well, you can't get behind the wheel of the real deal yet - at least not without a European vacation - but you can download the official Volkswagen Polo Challenge iPhone app and give it a go, virtually speaking.

[Volkswagen]

 
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