autoevolution

Body style: Hatchback
Segment: Compact
Production years: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981

Four years after the Golf's first-generation launch, Volkswagen introduced a smaller sibling for it, the Polo.

The badge engineering was uncommon in the '70s, but Volkswagen did it with the first Polo generation, a re-badged Audi 50. Unlike its sibling, which never got good sales numbers, the Golf's smaller brother was a winner since day one. Its simple appearance and small sizes made it an ideal competitor for the Italian and French cars, which mainly were the kings of the small segment.

Volkswagen said that the Bertone Design Studio was involved in the design process, but its contribution was smaller. Unlike the Golf, which Giugiaro designed, the little Polo received just a few touches here and there from Bertone. Its two-box, hatchback bodywork resembled, somehow, its bigger brother look. The round headlights and the black plastic grille with horizontal slats were similar. It was launched only as a three-door vehicle. Later on, Volkswagen introduced new body shapes.

Inside, the design was bland, with a straightforward dashboard design, interrupted by a pair of vents in the middle. Underneath it, the carmaker added a shelf that covered the entire car's width. The instrument panel was as simple as possible, with only a speedometer and a fuel-level gauge. For other important information such as coolant-temperature or oil pressure, Volkswagen relied on warning lights. The interior featured a pair of seats at the front and a folding bench in the rear. It was good enough for four adults.

Under the hood, the German carmaker introduced the Polo with a 1.1-liter engine. Later on, it added a 0.9-liter and a 1.3-liter engine. All versions were paired to a four-speed manual gearbox.

VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors 1975-1981 7 Photos
VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors (1975-1981)VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors (1975-1981)VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors (1975-1981)VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors (1975-1981)VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors (1975-1981)VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors (1975-1981)VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors (1975-1981)
VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
  4 gasoline engines
  • 0.9L 4MT (40 HP)
  • 1.1L 4MT (50 HP)
  • 1.1L 4MT (60 HP)
  • 1.3L 4MT (60 HP)
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VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors 0.9L 4MT (40 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  0.9L 4MT (40 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
895 cm3
Power
29.4 KW @ 3500 RPM
40 HP @ 3500 RPM
39 BHP @ 3500 RPM
Torque
45 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
61 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
9.5 gallons (36.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
83.9 mph (135 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
21.2 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
135/SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
141.7 in (3599 mm)
Width
61.4 in (1560 mm)
Height
52.8 in (1341 mm)
Front/rear Track
51.2/51.6 in (1,300/1,311 mm)
Wheelbase
91.7 in (2329 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.7 in (119 mm)
Cargo Volume
13 cuFT (368 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
1510.2 lbs (685 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
2425.1 lbs (1100 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
30.9 mpg US (7.6 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
180 g/km

VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors 1.1L 4MT (50 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.1L 4MT (50 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1093 cm3
Power
37 KW @ 4800 RPM
50 HP @ 4800 RPM
50 BHP @ 4800 RPM
Torque
56 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
76 Nm @ 3500 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
9.5 gallons (36.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
90.1 mph (145 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
15.4 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
145/SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
141.7 in (3599 mm)
Width
61.4 in (1560 mm)
Height
52.8 in (1341 mm)
Front/rear Track
51.2/51.6 in (1,300/1,311 mm)
Wheelbase
91.7 in (2329 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.7 in (119 mm)
Cargo Volume
7.7 cuFT (218 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
1510.2 lbs (685 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
2425.1 lbs (1100 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
28.6 mpg US (8.2 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
195 g/km

VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors 1.1L 4MT (60 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.1L 4MT (60 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1093 cm3
Power
44 KW @ 5600 RPM
60 HP @ 5600 RPM
59 BHP @ 5600 RPM
Torque
69 lb-ft @ 3400 RPM
93 Nm @ 3400 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
9.5 gallons (36.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
95.7 mph (154 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
12.9 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
145/SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
141.7 in (3599 mm)
Width
61.4 in (1560 mm)
Height
52.8 in (1341 mm)
Front/rear Track
51.2/51.6 in (1,300/1,311 mm)
Wheelbase
91.7 in (2329 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.7 in (119 mm)
Cargo Volume
7.7 cuFT (218 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
1510.2 lbs (685 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
2425.1 lbs (1100 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
28.3 mpg US (8.3 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
197 g/km

VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 Doors 1.3L 4MT (60 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.3L 4MT (60 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1093 cm3
Power
44 KW @ 5600 RPM
60 HP @ 5600 RPM
59 BHP @ 5600 RPM
Torque
69 lb-ft @ 3400 RPM
93 Nm @ 3400 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
9.5 gallons (36.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
95.7 mph (154 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
12.9 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
145/SR13
DIMENSIONS
Length
141.7 in (3599 mm)
Width
61.4 in (1560 mm)
Height
52.8 in (1341 mm)
Front/rear Track
51.2/51.6 in (1,300/1,311 mm)
Wheelbase
91.7 in (2329 mm)
Ground Clearance
4.7 in (119 mm)
Cargo Volume
7.7 cuFT (218 L)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
1510.2 lbs (685 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
2425.1 lbs (1100 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
28.3 mpg US (8.3 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
197 g/km
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