Volkswagen Polo Mk2

Volkswagen Polo Mk2

The Volkswagen Polo Mk2 is the second generation of the Volkswagen Polo supermini, it was produced from late 1981 until 1994.


Infobox Automobile generation
name = Vokswagen Polo Mk2

production = 1982–1990
class = Supermini
predecessor = Polo Mk1
successor = Polo Mk2F
body_style = 2-door station wagon
3-door hatchback
2-door sedan
aka = Volkswagen Derby
platform = Volkswagen Group A02
A revised model (Mk2, or more officially, "Typ 86C") was introduced in October 1981, with the major change being the introduction of an additional body style with a steep (almost vertical) rear window, as well a version with a diagonal rear window and a similar profile to the previous model. These two body styles were called the "Wagon" and "Coupé" respectively, although in fact both were three-door hatchbacks. The sedan version was no longer called the Derby in all countries, and was changed to the Polo Classic. Production was expanded to Spain in the mid 1980s following Volkswagen's takeover of SEAT.

1093 cc or 1272 cc engines were available at launch. In 1986, the Polo received numerous technical improvements; amongst many other minor updates, the engines were changed to lower maintenance hydraulic tappets, new camshafts and valve gear and an automatic choke; the 1043 cc engine replaced the 1093 cc, and in some markets the 1.3 litre engine was available with fuel injection and equipped with a catalytic converter. In 1984 an all-new 1.3 litre engine was introduced, which was used in various generations of Polo until 1996.

Available with the 1093 cc engine the "coupé" featured additions such as sporting seats trim, wheel arch extensions, rear spoiler, low profile tyres and a rev counter. The GL featured a 60 PS (44nbsp;kW) engine. In 1985, the first sporty Polo, the Coupé GT, was introduced with a 75 PS (55 kW) engine, as well as servo assisted brakes, twin headlights, a digital clock, sports seats and a rev counter. Other special feature models were introduced over the rest of the period of the Mk2 production run including models such as the Twist, Parade and Country.

The Mk2 Polo was used extensively by Volkswagen to develop future innovations, for example supercharging. The supercharger-equipped GT G40 version was introduced in 1987, in LHD Coupe form only, first as a limited batch of about 500 cars, most of which were sold to VW workers (as a homologated version of the car for the "G40 Cup" race series) and later as a normal production version. This model featured the 1272 cc engine with a small bore G-Lader supercharger, giving 113 PS (83 kW) at 6000 rpm, as well as modified suspension and the bodywork of the "normal" GT Coupé. The car could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 secs from and had maximum speed of 196 km/h (122 mph) it was used by VW to set a number of world endurance speed records — such as the 1300 cc class records for speed over 24 hours and speed over a distance of 5000 km. A G-supercharger would later be used on the larger and more technically challenging G60 engine used in the Golf and Corrado.

An extremely fuel efficient 2-cylinder diesel was prototyped in the mid 1980s with a G40 supercharger to overcome its small capacity, although this did not make production. A high fuel efficiency model which did make production was Formel E (E for Economy), introduced in 1983. This used a high compression 1272 cc engine, longer gear ratios and an early stop-start ignition system (called SSA) that would cut the engine when idle for more than two seconds to save fuel whilst temporarily stopped in traffic, and re-start the engine on moving the gear lever to the left in neutral. The system could be disabled by means of a toggle switch below the light switch to enable the system. Similar system were later used on the Volkswagen Golf Mk3 and various systems from other car manufacturers.


The Mk2 was available with the following engines:
*1.1 1093 cc 4 cylinder petrol engine (1981-1983)
*1.3 1272 cc 4 cylinder petrol engine. (1981-)
*1.0 1043 cc 4 cylinder petrol engine (1983-)
*1.3 1272 cc 4 cylinder petrol engine with fuel injection and equipped with a catalytic converter. (1983-)
*1.3 1272 cc 4 cylinder supercharged petrol engine with 113 PS (83 kW) ("GT G40" version 1987 only)
*1.3 L 4 cylinder diesel engine (1986-)
*1.4 L 4 cylinder diesel engine (1990-)

Trim levels

The VW Polo was available in four trim levels;
* Fox (1.0, 1.3 petrol, 1.3 diesel)
* C (1.0, 1.1 petrol, 1.3 diesel)
* CL (1.0, 1.1, 1.3 petrol, 1.3 diesel)
* GL (1.1, 1.3 petrol, 1.3 diesel)
* GT (1.3 petrol)From 1987, a basic "Fox" trim level was available with a 1.0-litre engine; this was spartanly equipped as a bargain basement model. It was also sold as a diesel version in Europe; this had a 1.3-litre engine. However, it was never sold in the UK with the 1.3 petrol, or the diesel engines.

Versions sold on the Continent were similar to their UK counterparts; this was the same for all Polo Mk2 versions up to the 1994 redesign.

Mk2F (1990-1994)

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Volkswagen Polo Mk2F (86C)

production = 1990–1994
class = Supermini
successor = Polo Mk3
body_style = 2-door station wagon
3-door hatchback
2-door sedan
aka = Volkswagen Derby
platform = Volkswagen Group A02
A facelift in 1990 (Mk2F) saw square headlights, bigger bumpers and a new interior (dash and door trim). The three different styles (hatchback, wagon and sedan) were maintained. As well as the cosmetic differences, under the skin the car received modifications to the chassis and suspension as well as the addition of servo-assisted brakes to all models including right hand drive versions. The new Polo still had the 4-cylinder engine but now as well as the carburetor 1.0 L, a fuel injection model was available with single-point injection and all engines came standard with a catalytic converter to combat tightening EU laws on automobile emissions.

The Derby was only produced in Spain, and ceased production in 1992. At this point, the Polo was now terminally dated. The follow-up model, the 6N version, was already well developed, but due to the high sales numbers, production of the other Polo models (hatchback and Coupé) was continued to 1994 in Wolfsburg and Spain. Volkswagen used the extra two years to restudy the 6N and change the format slightly before introduction in 1994.

Soon after the launch of the IIF, another sporting model was added to the range — a new version of the supercharged G40, now as a full production model in all markets rather than the limited batch of Mk2 G40s. The engine used a slightly different version of the digifant injection system to allow the use of a catalytic converter, and produced 113 PS (83 kW), which gave 0-100 km/h figures of 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 196 km/h (122 mph). The car was lowered by Auto mm|25|1 over the standard Polo and featuring special edition Le Mans sports seats, similar exterior styling to the GT with the addition of a bee sting aerial and 5.5J X 13" BBS RA cross spoke alloy wheels. As with the previous model, VW Motorsport modified G40 Cup cars were sold for racing in a one-make series, the Volkswagen Polo G40 Cup. The reliability of these vehicles was hampered by early production mistakes and high maintenance costs — parts of the G-charger can wear out quickly if unmaintained — which damaged the reputation of the supercharging concept. Volkswagen ended its experimentation with supercharged hot hatches at the end of the Polo 2F production run, due to high manufacturing costs and less than enthusiastic sales. The price was little less than that of the basic Golf GTI.

In 1992 VW released a limited number of special edition Polos, with special trim and a G40 engine and suspension. The "Genesis" G40 was made to special order only. A single right hand drive example found its way to the UK. This one-off model was a competition prize when the VW-sponsored Genesis tour reached its UK leg.

Trim levels

Trim levels were Fox, CL, GL and Genesis. The Fox was the entry-level model, only available with a 1.0-litre engine, but in Europe it had a 1.3-litre version.

Popularity in the UK

In the United Kingdom, the Mk2 Polo was competing with established British favourites such as the Austin/Rover Metro, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Nova. It was unable to match the sales success of any of these cars, but was among the most popular imports alongside the likes of the Peugeot 205 and Fiat Uno. This was in spite of it being more expensive than most of its competitors, with prices being almost as high as that of larger cars like the Ford Escort and Vauxhall Astra. Many buyers felt that the Polo was worth the slightly higher cost thanks to its class-leading build quality, reliability and space.

As of 2008, 14 years after the end of Mk2 Polo production, many examples are still on British roads and tend to retail at higher prices than similarly-aged cars such as the Ford Fiesta.


ee also

*Volkswagen Polo for an overview of all models
*Volkswagen Polo Mk1
*Volkswagen Polo Mk3
*Volkswagen Polo Mk4

External links

* [ Volkswagen UK's Polo Site]
* [ Volkswagen Australia's Polo Site]
* [ Club Polo UK Website] (source for some of the model history information)
* [ Polo G40 UK Website] (source for G40 Polo variation)
* [ Polo3 UK Website] (source for some of the model history information)

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