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VW Polo 1975

VW Polo
EngineIn-line four-cylinder
Displacement895 cm³ (69,5 mm * 59,0 mm)
Compression ratio8,0 : 1 (regular petrol)
Engine controlOHC (towing lever)
Mixture preparationSingle carburettor, choke
LubricationCrescent gear pump
Torque61 Nm at 3500 rpm
Performance29 kW (40 HP) at 5900 rpm
Drive trainFront engine (transversal) with front wheel drive
TransmissionFour-speed - fully synchronised
Wheelbase2.335 mm
Front suspensionMcPherson spring struts
Rear suspensionSemi-independent suspension
Brakes f/rDrums
Brake circuit schemeDiagonally with negativ offset radius
SteeringGear rack without/with damper
Wheels5.50 x 12
Length3.512 mm
Width1.560 mm
Height1.344 mm
Tank capacity36 litres
Luggage compartment285/900 litres
Payload415 kg
Kerb weight685 kg + driver
Maximum speed132 km/h
Year of manufacture1975
Special featuresBraking force compensator

This could be a lesson for life. Whenever one would like to begin something new, the first thing to do, is to start. Don't plan the concept too long. The finishing touches will come later. The situation at that time was difficult for the VW-factory. After the introduction of the Golf they need a start-up model urgently. What they did, was to fall back on the Audi 50, they gave it a 900 cc-engine, Spartan fittings and offered it at a comparatively reasonable price.

All the possible brainwaves were left to the successor. One can see what became of the one-time 'Cinderella', a completely independent model-range. It had even outlived the model from which it originally came. Sometimes it pays off, just to get on with it, even when the competitors smirk at the idea.

An interesting point is not only that, but how it was slimmed down. Whether or not the 0,9 litre engine was really cheaper in the production, can be justifiably doubted. The engine block and the cylinder head were kept. Only the crankshaft-stroke was changed by 13 mm and the compression-height of the piston was respectively increased by 6,8 mm. Thus the compression ratio remained roughly the same. The now more narrow inlet manifold was then given a carburettor with a choke.

The suspension was taken almost unchanged from the Audi 50. Only on the front axle had, minus the overrun, a small amount of offset of the swivel-axle to the rear. This somewhat reduced the steering re-centring forces, made it lighter but still maintained the camber in curves, despite the changes. Its basic setting could not be altered. In addition, the coil-bounding of the springs during maximum load was improved by a stop-buffer.

In the beginning it could only be had with the 900 cc engine and in the colour 'Ocean-blue'. The accelerator pedal was basically a wire loop and the door-panelling was made from a sort of cardboard. Carpeting, higher quality seat covers and a two-speed fan and two-speed windscreen wipers were only available in the L-model, which could be identified by the outside trimmings. The most obvious difference: The L-model also had chrome bumpers, the basic model had to be satisfied with matt-silver coloured bumpers without rubber buffers.

VW Polo
Displacement895/1092/1092 cm³
(69,5 mm * 59,0/72,0 mm)
Compression ratio8,0/8,0/9,5 : 1/premium petrol (60 HP)
Mixture preparationSingle carburettor, choke/automatic choke
Torque61/75/83 Nm at 3500 rpm
Performance29/37/44 kW (40/50/60 HP)
Rated speed5900/5900/6000 rpm
Rear suspensionSemi-independent suspension, anti-roll bar (60 HP)
Brakes f/rDiscs/drums, braking force compensator (from 50 HP)
Wheels135 SR 13 / 145 SR 13
Maximum speed132/142/152 km/h
Year of manufactureFrom 1976

One cannot even compare it with today's Polo. Not only did it have the disadvantage of the early development, it also had the disadvantage of its age, regardless of how good the components had been refurbished. It gave the impression of being nervous and imprecise. Although basically, it was the same construction, till this day one can hardly fathom the development. Indeed, in the first video below, the stated fuel consumption of 10 litres/100 km does the car an injustice. 04/15               Top of page               Index
2001-2015 Copyright programs, texts, animations, pictures: H. Huppertz - E-Mail
Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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