Volkswagen's new Polo made its debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show and the company officials had said that they would be launching the new car in India in the second half of this year. Of course, the second half could mean anywhere from July to December but thankfully their can statement can now be interpreted as "to-be-launched in 'early' second half of 2014". Yes, the new Polo is just two months away with the launch most likely to happen in July.
It would be inappropriate to term the car as merely a facelift as the changes go well beyond than the exterior. There's certainly more than meets the eye, so other than the freshened up looks, the new Polo gets a new heart too. The new 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine is expected to produce the same amount of power and torque as the bigger 1.6 turbo-diesel unit, i.e., around 105 bhp and 250 Nm. With this engine, the diesel Polo will qualify to get excise benefits applicable to diesel cars under four metres with an engine capacity of upto 1500 cc. The engine capacity threshold is 1200 cc for petrol cars while the length prerequisite remains the same. The new engine will be mated to GT TSI's seven-speed DSG gearbox.
It's interesting to note that VW had discontinued the earlier 1.6-litre petrol engine when it brought the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol unit (GT TSI) producing the same amount of power as the bigger engine. Likewise, the company, in all probability, will shelve the 1.6-litre diesel now and the choice of engines in the Polo will be restricted to two 1.2-litre petrol engines (a turbo and a naturally aspirated) and a 1.5-litre diesel - all variants would thus qualify to get the aforementioned excise benefits.
It's highly unlikely that the German automaker would pass on the benefits to the customers, so expect to pay a little more for the new car.