Polo Register Volkswagen Polo History 1981 - 90

Series 2 Polo Hatchback, Saloon & Coupe

A month after Series 1 Polo production ended, the Series 2 was launched. VW had given the new car a different look, the new model resembling a small estate car. Commonly referred to as a 'Squareback', it was introduced into the UK as a three-tier range. The C was the basic-spec model rising through the mid-range CL and topping off with the plush GL. The 895cc engine of the earlier model had been developed into a 1043cc unit producing 45 bhp. This powered the C, while the CL and GL had the 1093cc engine from the previous generation. Volkswagen also expanded on the Formel E fuel economy system first introduced on the LX run-out Series 1. Powered by the 1093cc high-compression engine, it was run on four-star petrol and developed 50 bhp and had a wide-ratio 3+E gearbox and fuel consumption indicator. At the UK launch the C model cost 3,799.
Series 2 Polos shared same basic dashboard and interior plus some engines. Cars were basically the same until the B-pillar and rear-end styling.
The Hatch was joined by two complimentary models in 1983. The Saloon was launched first and was a Series 2 Derby equivalent (it was even called Derby in Germany at launch in 1982). The range mirrored that of the Polo Hatchback, but the C and CL models were powered by the 1093cc engine, while the GL was powered by a 60 bhp unit. The car had a different face to the Hatchback too, with two square headlamps, replacing the circular units. The Formel E had a rear spoiler (as did the Hatch equivalent), while GL versions of both the Hatchback and Classic boasted headlight washers, twin-tone horn and internally adjustable door mirrors. Prices for the Classic stated at 3,975 for the C, rising to 4,798 for the GL.
The special-edition 'CX' Hatchback was launched in this year and featured the 50 bhp engine and could count Pearl Silver bodywork, colour-matched alloy wheels and 'Glencheck' upholstery among its extra refinements.
Polo Saloon and Coupe were launched in 1983. The Saloon was the Derby equivalent, while the Coupe echoed the Series 1 Polo styling.
Following on from the Saloon's launch, the Coupe was released only a few months later. It's fastback styling was more of a progression from the Series 1's and although not a proper Coupe, it was thus labeled, as VW had already used the 'Hatchback' designation for the Squareback model. Initially available with the 1093cc engine, only one model was available, the 'Coupe'. It featured many sporty additions such as wheel-arch extensions a la Golf GTI, sports seat trim, rear window spoiler, rev-counter, 'sports' wheel trim centres and low-profile 165/65 13 tyres on steel pressed rims.
Model revisions took place in 1984. The Classic CL and GL had a new 1272cc, 55 bhp engine fitted, which also found new service in the Polo Coupe, replacing the previous 1093cc model. The Polo Coupe now cost 5,070.
The special-edition Polo 'LX' Hatchback also had this new engine. Costing 4,598, this new model had low-profile tyres, rear hatch spoiler and twin colour-keyed door mirrors. Interior fitments included: a centre console, door pockets, three-spoke sports steering wheel and sports seats trimmed in 'Chintz' cotton/polyester fabric.
The Hatchback range was to expand still, with the addition of the 'Standard' model. Named simply 'Polo', this new base-model car was to be found lacking the twin door mirrors, head restraints, luggage cover and additional items of extra equipment of the C. With the addition of this model, the range now started at 3,695.
Finally for 1984, the mainstream range Hatchback and Saloon Formel E models now had the 1272cc 55 bhp engine and an automatic stop-start system fitted. This stopped the car when the car was in neutral, restarting when first or reverse was selected. Revised trim included flush-fitting quarter-light windows for extra fuel economy!
Another special-edition model was released, the Coupe 'CX', costing 4,690. This model featured special 'Rallycheck' upholstery on padded seats, 1043cc engine, 155/70 13 tyres and full sports instrumentation.
Model changes for 1985 included the upgrading of the C specification of the Polo Hatchback.
It now gained the wraparound rear window spoiler of the Formel E, black-trimmed door pillars, 'Glencheck' upholstery, cigarette lighter and GL instrument panel featuring an analogue clock and trip mileage recorder. The Polo Classic was renamed the 'Polo Saloon' (the 'Derby' tag having been dropped in Germany) and now gained the circular headlamps of the Hatch and Coupe. Yet another special model was launched.
The Polo Coupe Boulevard was an-all white model of the Polo Coupe and featured colour-keyed bumpers, wheel-arch extensions, hubcaps and front/rear spoilers. Interior refinements included velour carpeting, tinted glass, sports steering wheel and height adjustable driver's seat.
The Coupe range was also realigned. The Polo 'Coupe' was renamed the S. This car featured sports seats, twin-headlight grille (fitted with either driving lights or fog lamps), digital clock and a three-spoke sports steering wheel. Launch price was 5,654.
A new model was made available below this car, the Polo 'Coupe' name having been re-used on a 1043cc powered base model. The specification was much that of the Polo C Hatchback.
The Coupe S was a 'sports' model based on the Polo Coupe. Powered by a 1272cc 55 bhp engine, it featured full 'GT' trim which included; sports seats, rev counter, twin-lamp grille, 3-spoke steering wheel and 'sports' styling.
For 1986, the 1043cc and 1272cc engines were overhauled and now included new valvegear and a five-bearing camshaft, hydraulic tappets and an automatic choke. The 1043cc unit was fitted into the Polo C Hatchback, the Saloon C and the Coupe Fox; the new trim which superseded the Polo 'Coupe'. This new base-model Coupe featured colour-keyed wheel trims, special 'Fox' decals, special upholstery and contrasting bumper piping.
A new 4+E gearbox was now standard on the Polo Formel E models as was the addition of a standard radio. This gearbox was available as an option on the Coupe S, while the Polo GL Hatchback now had the 1272cc engine, 155/70 13 tyres and full-size flush wheel trims. In true VW tradition, another special value model was launched.
Only 2000 Polo Rangers were to be imported. A UK-only model, it was based on the Polo C Hatchback, albeit fitted with the 1272cc 55 bhp engine. Extra equipment included: roof rails, sports seats, rev counter, digital clock, driver's seat height adjuster, three-spoke steering wheel, four-headlamp grille and black wheel trims.
The Polo Saloon GL was dropped from the range, while in Germany VW experimented with the Polo Coupe GTG40. This car featured the 1272cc 55 bhp engine fitted with a supercharger, pushing output to 115 bhp Special models of this car set several world speed records for their class, averaging 129 mph over 24 hours.
The Coupe GTG40 was powered by a supercharged 1272cc, 115 bhp engine. Engine pic: Tony Lo
Changes to the Polo ranges were minimal for 1987. The Polo Ranger gained alloy wheels and became the range-topping Hatchback model priced at 5,979; the Polo CL Hatchback and Saloon were fitted with the 1272cc engine; the GL Hatchback was dropped from the range, while the Coupe S now had the new 4+E gearbox fitted as standard. Volkswagen also dropped the Formel E versions from all model ranges.
1988 was a quiet year for the now seven year-old Series 2. All four-speed versions
of the CL Hatchback, C Saloon and Coupe were dropped. Minor trim changes also followed.
The Polo's prices now started at 4,929 for the Polo 'Standard' rising to 6,980 for the Coupe S. The Coupe S now had 'Hockenheim' alloy wheels as standard (also fitted to some Passats), while the Ranger also had alloys fitted as standard, being the earlier design previously offered on the CX Hatchback.
Finally, 1988 saw the introduction of the Polo Twist and Polo Boulevard special models. The Twist was based on the Polo 'Standard' and featured full-size, flush, colour-keyed wheel trims, twin exterior mirrors, clock and carpeted rear parcel shelf. The Boulevard name was resurrected for the special Polo Coupe and featured colour-keyed bumpers and wheel trims, tinted glass, twin headlights, upgraded stereo and internally-adjustable door mirrors.
The last full year of Series 2 Polo production was 1989. All models gained tinted glass, while the Fox name was introduced on the entry-level Polo Hatchback. Trimmed as the Coupe version, it replaced the Polo 'Standard'. The Polo Match was introduced, again, another special model and was similar in trim to the Twist of 1988.
Production of the Series 2 Polo range was to be ended in September 1990 and this year saw model revisions aplenty. In an inspired and mould-breaking fashion, VW introduced the Polo Catalyst range. All 1043cc models of the range were fitted with a three-way Euro catalytic converter, which cut emissions from the engine. Trim was as the C-spec cars.
The final special models of the Series 2 range were launched, the Polo Country and the Polo Coupe Parade. The Country was a Hatchback model fitted with the 1043cc engine and trimmed with such luxuries as tinted glass, five metallic paint finishes, twin headlights, rear window spoiler, glass sunroof and special 'Country' rear side window decals.
The Parade was a Coupe-only model and was fitted with a choice of 1043/1272cc engines, the latter being available with a five-speed gearbox. This model boasted tinted glass, twin headlights, rubbing strips and special 'Parade' coachline graphics. Like the Boulevard of 1988, the bumpers and wheel-arch extensions were colour-keyed in red or white paint finishes, while the two blue colours available had the standard items of the mainstream models. In March 1990, 'VW Motoring' published first details and an artist's impression of what the 'new Polo' was to look like. It was to appear only seven months later.
Polo Country Hatchback and Parade Coupe were special edition 'run-out' models of the Series 2. Both had extra equipment over the regular versions.
All text copyright Richard Gooding/VW Polo Register 2000.