Has Volkswagen Polo's Adventure In India come to An End?
Has Volkswagen Polo's Adventure In India come to An End?

Has Volkswagen Polo’s Adventure In India come to An End?


A Brief Introduction To The Polo

The Polo requires no introduction to Indian car enthusiasts. Volkswagen brought the Polo to India in the early 2010s to establish the Volkswagen brand in India. It took some time for the popularity to rocket up. The public appreciated the Germanic build quality, but the engine options were pretty dreary. The petrol and diesel variants lacked punch to excite the public. After Volkswagen launched the Polo 1.6, the car got some recognition from car enthusiasts. The hype for a polo peaked when the GT line was launched. A turbocharged engine mated to a DSG gearbox were key ingredients in making the hatchback pure bliss to drive. The diesel GT variant production was stalled due to DieselGate, but the petrol variant was still selling in great numbers. For the given price, it provided astounding performance along with sporty dynamics.

But Volkswagen India never bothered to improve the Polo. Global markets saw significant revisions in the Polo, unlike India. By the late-2010’s, the Polo was considered outdated due to lack of basic features, like a parking camera. The competition has gotten fierce since its launch while the demand for SUVs has been ever-rising. After 12 years in the Indian market, VW India finally pulled the plug on the Polo and shifted its attention towards the Taigun and Virtus. So has Polo’s adventure in India ended?

Never Say Never

Volkswagen India’s brand director, Ashish Gupta, was asked about the future of Polo in India. As for now, there seem to be no plans for its relaunch, but he did not reject the possibility. VW’s current focus is on the MQB A0 IN platform. This platform seems to be pretty successful, as indicated by the sales of Taigun and Virtus.

Relaunching the Polo seems a regressive move for Volkswagen India since their focus has turned towards electric vehicles and SUV’s. They have already invested heavily in the “India 2.0” project and conventional hatchbacks like the Polo don’t seem to be in their plans. The iD.4 is likely the next car VW launches.

Ashish Gupta hinted that the Polo might come back as an EV or an SUV. Car enthusiasts won’t be thrilled with this decision, but it is the only way the Polo badge makes it way back. Bringing it back as an EV or an SUV, might be a great business decision for VW but the factors which made the old Polo a fan-favorite will be non-existent.

Back in 2016, VW India launched the 3-door version of the Polo – the Polo GTI. It was equipped with an exhilarating 2.0L TSI engine with the traditional DSG gearbox. It was a blast to drive but it was sold in limited numbers at a high price tag.

Rumors suggest that the Polo GTI might make a comeback, however, the date of release isn’t confirmed. Volkswagen India’s plan for FY2024-2025 is to launch the iD.4 and the GTI doesn’t align with their goals. The high taxation on these limited edition cars makes it a major risk in the Indian market despite the popularity of the GTI in India.

Is It A Goodbye For Hot Hatches?

Who doesn’t love a hot hatch? Practicality and peppy performance at an inexpensive price tag, however, the Indian market craves the road presence of an SUV. The hot-hatch is a dying breed and manufacturers like Tata are trying to revive that market with the Altroz racer and Tiago JTP.

The Volkswagen Polo looks as fresh as ever and is ageing like fine wine. If you still wish to own a Polo, you could turn towards the used cars market. You would need to make sacrifices on practicality and features, but you can make up for it with engine tuning and OEM modifications.

Even if VW decides to relaunch the Polo, it is unlikely that it encapsulates the lively vibe of the OG Polo. The prospect of the it going electric or growing in size will defeat the point of why the Polo was so popular in the first place.

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