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All Tests

  VW - Polo 1

Without the Audi 50, the VW Polo would be inconceivable, because its first version Type 86 was basically an Audi stripped for price reasons. Fuel gauge, parcel shelf and carpeting were initially missing. Bare metal was more often visible. Initially only a 0.9 liter model with 29 kW (40 hp) was delivered.

The Audi 50 already reached the top of its sales figures last year. It had the same engine as the entry-level Golf, and the chassis was also quite similar. Even in terms of space, it was not particularly inferior to this. The Golf was only longer on the outside, not least because there was more space for larger engines.

The Audi 50 was said to have an interior size that was not significantly inferior to that of a 5-series BMW at the time. It also stood out for its particularly careful construction, although its development time was only about two years. Thus, despite being completely different, it was regarded as the successor to the NSU series until 1973.

The transverse front-wheel drive appeared rather late at VW 15 years after the Mini, but that was typical for the company. Anyway one had thoroughly shuffled up the market. The Audi 50 had famous fathers, including chief developer Ludwig Kraus (most recently Audi 100), Claus Luthe, designer of the much-praised Ro 80, and MarcelloGandini from Bertone, otherwise mostly concerned with noble sports cars.

There are even supposed to have been drivers of an Audi 100 who switched to the Audi 50, because nobody knew how long one could still drive such large cars. The oil price crisis with car-free Sundays had the nation in hand. The Audi 50 came at just the right time.

It had a dry weight of just 600 kg, which of course had an effect not only on consumption, but also on driving performance. At the time, it was definitely a middle-class format. It left little room for his French and Italian competitors, but especially the British. However, the Ford Fiesta appeared 2 years later.

And then the only problem with the Audi 50 became obviously, it was too expensive and its price had increased significantly in the four years of its existence. So it made sense to establish Audi more as a high-priced brand and to make the car cheaper as a product from VW.

This is how the first Polo was born, brought to a lower cost price with little effort. This also included an additional, small motor, which actually couldn't have been much cheaper. After all, the price when it appeared was 'only' 7,500 DM instead of 8,200. And it seemed to be successful, not least because of the 0.9 liter four-cylinder engine.

Partly deprived of the trim, the details in the design came into notice. There were the angles, e.g. the slope of the rear or the front end edge of the bonnet, that gave the car its character. In addition, the little things like the upward swinging lower window edge corresponding to the seam behind the decorative strip. Or the plate-shaped ventilation.

From 1977 to 1985 there was the not particularly successful notchback variant, called 'Derby'. Little by little, all the special features were also available for the Polo. In 1979 there was only it and it received a facelift. Below you can see it together with the GT variant. The had 44 kW (60 hp) which had been produced from 1.3 liters since 1977.

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