New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift spied for the first time

This is our first look at the facelifted sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo. The updated car will be revealed towards the end of this year with a redesigned exterior, fit to take on fresher rivals such as the latest Renault Clio and Hyundai i20.

Through the light disguise on this prototype we can see that Volkswagen’s designers have used the new Mk8 Golf as a starting point for the Polo’s cosmetic revisions. The Polo’s new front end takes on inspiration from its larger sibling’s, with new headlights shaped similarly to those on the latest Golf, an updated grille design and new lower front bumper, with large air intakes.

At the back the updated Polo will receive a new rear bumper and a pair of rear lamps that are near-identical to the Golf’s. The lower section of the rear bumper will be entirely new, as hinted at by the decoy fake exhaust tips on this mule. The overhaul will likely be completed with a refreshed paint palette for buyers to choose from and some new alloy wheel designs.

We’re expecting fewer changes to the Polo’s interior, if any. When it was launched back in 2017 the sixth-generation Polo received a substantial interior update over its predecessor, so we’re expecting this updated model to retain the same dashboard layout and eight-inch infotainment system. The availability of the 10.25-inch digital instrument panel should stretch further across the Polo line-up, however.

It should be a similar story with the Polo’s engine range, as it already uses Volkswagen’s most up-to-date powertrains.

Unless Volkswagen decides the unit is no longer profitable, the entry-level model will still feature a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 59kW. Mid-range models will use a turbocharged version of the same engine, offering either 70kW or 84kW – both of which will be available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. The facelift is likely to introduce 48-volt mild-hybrid technology to the Polo too, borrowing the 108bhp 1.0-litre eTSI engine from the Golf.

It’s not the only new supermini on the way from the Volkswagen group in 2021: a new-generation Fabia will arrive soon, moving onto the MQB A0 platform used by the Polo.

Luke Wilkinson

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