Polo Register Volkswagen Polo History 1990 - 94

Series 2F Polo Hatchback, Saloon & Coupe

Appearing at the Birmingham NEC Motor Show, the Series 2F Polo was launched in October 1990. Looking similar to the cars the new ranges replaced, the car had undergone major re-engineering. Although it was essentially a facelift of the Series 2, chassis, suspension and cosmetic/interior changes marked the coming of the new model. Launched in the three Series 2 variants - Hatchback, Saloon and Coupe - all models now had integrated, square headlamps; deeper remodeled plastic bumpers and chunkier rear end styling. The interior boasted a new, Passat-style dashboard, which was much more in keeping with the 'grown-up' image; new
trims and fabrics and new full-size door cards that left no bare metal on display.
The engine options were carried over from the previous range, but all now had fuel-injection and catalytic converters - a first for the UK small-car market.
The range started with the 1043cc Polo Fox Hatchback/Coupe and topped off (until July 1991) with the Polo Hatchback/Coupe GT boasting a 1272cc 75 bhp engine. All of the new models also gained servo - assisted brakes answering criticism over the previous generation models. The Hatchback and Coupe models were also priced identically trim-for-trim, the first time in the two bodystyle's history.
The Polo Fox started the range, costing 6,500. This was available in Hatchback and Coupe guises and was fitted with the 1043cc 45 bhp engine fitted with Monomotronic single-point fuel injection. These were fitted with a four-speed gearbox. A three-spoke steering wheel was fitted along with what must be the most garish interior trim VW has ever produced - a combination of cerise, mint green and grey striping covering the door panels and seats!
The CL was the next rung up the Polo ladder and, again, was available in Hatchback and Coupe guises. In addition to these, the Saloon was also available in this trim level, the only one in which it was to be released. Engine options were the 1043cc and 1272cc units, producing 45 and 55 bhp respectively, the 1272cc units being fitted with Digijet fuel injection. Additional exterior items over the Fox included rubbing strips and full-size wheel trims, which were designed to look like alloy wheels. Interior embellishments included a centre console, cigarette lighter, trip mileage recorder and a vanity mirror on the passenger sun visor. A 5 speed gearbox was an optional extra.
Series 3 Polos were facelifted Series 2 cars. All models featured cosmetic tweaks including deeper bumpers, square headlamps and new interiors.
The range-topping Polo until July 1991 was the GT. Available in Hatchback and Coupe bodystyles; this was the 'sports' model of the range. Powered by a 75 bhp version of the 1272cc unit, the car could reach 107 mph and featured a five-speed gearbox as standard. The engine featured Digifant multi-point fuel-injection as used on the Series 2 Golf GTI and was therefore smooth and extremely pokey. The GT featured many sporting accents as standard. Red piping in the bumpers, wheel arch extensions, rev-counter, sports seats, low-profile tyres (155/70 on Hatchback and 165/65 on Coupe), wheel trims with black centres, black 'VW' badging, 'GT' grille badge, driver's seat height adjustment and a three-spoke sports steering wheel were all to be found as standard equipment on the most sporty UK model yet. This was all to change though in July 1991.
The Polo G40 was introduced and immediately jumped feet first into the 'hot hatch' arena. This 'pocket rocket' was powered by the same 1272cc engine as in the Polo GT, but with the addition of a small supercharger, power was upped from 75 to 113 bhp. The car was a later version of the model produced in the mid-eighties and introduced in the continental Series 2 range. Acceleration was a claimed 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds, with top speed being (where conditions permit of course!) around 120 mph Differences over the GT included 65 per cent harder front springs, 25 mm lowered suspension and balljoints replacing the standard rubber bushings on the trackrods and wishbones. The front anti-roll bar had 20 per cent harder mountings while the addition of a rear anti-roll bar added stability. Rolling stock was 5.5J X 13 BBS 'cross-spoke' alloy wheels with 175/60 13 tyres. Cosmetic additions over the GT included a roof-mounted Golf GTI-style 'bee sting' aerial and special badging. Interior refinements included different sports seats trimmed in 'Le Mans' cloth trim. Priced at 11,568 the G40 was not an especially cheap car, and was only a few hundred pounds less than the then run-out Series 2 Golf GTI.
Power came to the Polo in 1990, when the GT and Coupe G40 were introduced. GT boasted 75 bhp, while G40 had 113 bhp, courtesy of a small supercharger.


The range was to stay unchanged until September 1991. Resurrecting the Boulevard name yet again, VW introduced the first UK special model. Costing 6948 and available in Caribbean Green or Cerise paint finishes, the car came with additions such as: upgraded Blaupunkt stereo, Polo G40 steering wheel, CL wheel trims, centre console, an analogue clock and special interior trim. It was powered by the 1043cc engine.


The model revisions for 1992 saw the Fox gain a passenger sun visor, while this model and the 1043cc CL now had internally-adjustable door mirrors (the CL also getting a driver's seat height adjuster). The G40 had clear front indicators and partially darkened rear light clusters fitted to differentiate it from the other models in the range. March 1992 saw VW announce a ten-round racing series featuring the Polo G40. Called the 'Volkswagen Polo G40 Cup' it was to run for three seasons. But perhaps the most significant change for 1992 was that the Saloon was dropped from production. Never selling in the same volumes as the Hatchback or Coupe variants, Britain was one of the last markets to continue selling this slow-selling model. The GT Hatchback was also discontinued at this time.
Special Boulevard model was based on the Fox and had extra equipment.
G40 racing series was campaigned first in 1992, using near-stock cars.

The range of new cars was as the Series 2 Polo line-up.
Saloon only lived for two years, being discontinued in 1992. UK was one of the car's best markets.


Another special-edition model was launched in 1993. The Genesis was based on the Fox and was available in both Hatchback and Coupe variants. Engine choice was the same as the CL, with 1043 and 1272cc units being available. Extra equipment over the other models included: 'Modekaro' upholstery from the Scirocco GTll, rev counter, digital clock and sports steering wheel from the GT/G40, tinted glass, 155/70 tyres, removable upgraded stereo and a steel sliding sunroof. One minor omission on this model (and one that could trace it's Fox roots) was the lack of a glovebox lid. Other detail model changes for the final full year of Series 3 production included new upholstery for the CL and GT ('Rainbow' and 'Triangle' respectively) and the addition of side impact beams mounted in the doors for all models, offering greater side-impact protection. The G40 was made special order only.
The penultimate Series 3 special model was the Boulevard (now in it's fourth incarnation). Based on the Fox and priced at 6,995 (500 more), the specification included the 1043cc engine, 'Jubilee' upholstery, special door pillar trim, lidded glovebox, centre console, door pockets, height-adjustable driver's seat, passenger sun visor with vanity mirror, upgraded removable stereo and CL wheel trims. It was available in Hatchback and Coupe guises.


The Series 3 was last produced in 1994, the much refined, mature and different Series 4 being presented to the press in August of that year. The range was trimmed considerably, with the Hatchback being available in Fox, Boulevard and CL trim levels - the Genesis having been discontinued. The Coupe was available in these guises, in addition to the previous Genesis, GT and G40 variants.
The final swansong for the Series 3 was the introduction of two 'run-out' models, both of which took names from earlier Series 2 Polo special models.
The 'Match' was priced at 5,766 and was based on the 1043cc Fox. Incorporating 640 of extras, the car was available in both Hatchback and Coupe bodystyles. The extras over the Fox included special 'Match' graphics, 'Sport Rader 1' alloy wheels, factory-fitted radio and a choice of two new colours.
The Polo 'Parade' differed from the Match, as it was based on the 1043cc Polo CL. Again, available in both bodystyles, the cost of this model was 6,267. Like the Match it included 520 of optional equipment and cost 430 less than the Boulevard. The car gained Sport Rader 1 alloy wheels, wider tyres, tinted glass, 'Parade' graphics, a choice of four new body colours and a Sony radio/cassette with removable front panel.
The last Series 3 Polos rolled off the Spanish production lines (where all Series 3s were built and some where some Series 2s had been manufactured since 1985) in August 1994.
Polo Match & Parade were last-of-the-line Series 3 special models. They featured 'Sport Rader' alloys, special graphics and extra equipment.
All text copyright Richard Gooding/VW Polo Register 2002.