It sounds like Volkswagen may be planning a rival for the 2013 Buick Encore and the upcoming 2015 Honda Fit-based subcompact crossovers. According to a new report from Motor Trend, the German juggernaut is looking to expand its crossover portfolio below the compact Tiguan crossover.
The idea that Volkswagen could add more SUVs beyond the Touareg and the Tiguan isn't new. We reported last fall on the automaker's plans to roughly triple the number of crossovers it sells. MT's report is thin on details, just stating that a future, Polo-based crossover that will ride on VW's flexible MQB platform; however, MT does confirm that the new model is apparently destined for Volkswagen's North American lineup.
Luckily, our previous report details a fair bit about this upcoming Polo-based crossover. Due in three years, the Polo crossover will ride on a smaller version of the MQB architecture -- called MQB-A0 -- that will be specific to the next-generation Polo subcompact and its spin-offs. In contrast to the tarted-up CrossPolo currently offered overseas (and pictured here), Volkswagen promises that the new vehicle will be a true offroader. While there will be a basic front-wheel-drive version, Volkswagen is readying the car to have all-wheel drive, a dual-clutch gearbox, off-road aesthetics, skid plates, heavy-duty suspension, and all-season tires. Outside of the U.S., buyers will also be able to choose from Seat Tribu and Skoda Yeti II variants, each with their own distinct styling, and a number of Alltrack-badged soft-roaders from the Up!, Golf, and, potentially, Touran ranges.
Compared with the current Polo hatchback, the MQB-A0 car, including the crossover, will net a 176-lb weight saving while still being substantially roomier. European buyers will get a smattering of different powertrain options: 1.4-liter TSI gas engines ranging between 105 hp and 140 hp, a 150-hp PHEV, diesel four-cylinders ranging between 95 and 150 hp, and an ethanol-powered engine. Technology like start-stop and cylinder deactivation will help the next Polo achieve high fuel economy numbers and meet Europe's stringent EU6 emissions standards.
Keep an eye on the next Volkswagen Polo, too. According to Motor Trend, we'll be receiving the subcompact hatch and sedan on our shores. Here, the Polo would go up against the likes of the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Nissan Versa/Versa Note, and Toyota Yaris. The Polo (pictured below) slots below the Golf and Jetta in Volkswagen's global lineup; right now, VW has nothing below the Golf in its U.S. portfolio.
Source: Motor Trend