The head of Volkswagen’s R division says fans of the brand should not expect to see an R-badged Polo any time soon.
Despite hinting to Top Gear UK that more models (in addition to the Golf R and T-Roc R) would wear the "R" moniker in future, Volkswagen R managing director Jost Capito said the Polo would not be one of them.
“With R you have four-wheel drive, and you don’t have four-wheel drive in the Polo platform. I also think the effort and the money you put in works from the Golf size of car upwards,” Capito said, suggesting the GTI would be as hot as the Polo would go.
Back in late 2017, a report suggested Volkswagen was developing a flagship Polo R, but had yet to decide whether to put what would essentially be a mini-hyper-hatch into production. VW insiders had apparently confirmed the existence of a handful of Polo R prototypes built for “evaluation purposes”, but Capito's latest comments suggest that's as far as the project will go.
In February 2019, the Wolfsburg-based firm took the wraps off its new T-Roc R, handing the crossover the familiar 2,0-litre four-cylinder TSI engine, sending 221 kW and 400 N.m to all four corners via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. While the standard T-Roc is expected to arrive in South Africa in 2020, its not yet clear whether the R-badged model will be offered locally.
The British publication also spoke to Jürgen Stackmann, VW’s member of the board responsible for sales, marketing and after sales, who added the upcoming Golf 8 R would remain the “crown jewel of performance in a Golf”.
“The performance king will remain a Golf R, and the Golf 8 R is going to be fantastic,” Stackmann said.