WhenVolkswagen unveiled the Virtus in Latin Americain late 2017, it was believed the Polo Mk6-based sedan would eventually reach other markets around the world, including Russia.
As it turns out, the German automaker thought the MQB A0 platform would be too expensive for this country and other former Soviet republics. Instead of bringing the Virtus over, VW has decided to rebadge the PQ25-based 2020 Skoda Rapid recently facelifted in Russia and market it as the Polo Sedan. The name choice is rather odd considering this is a five-door liftback.
Besides applying its new corporate logo, Volkswagen has also given the Russian market Polo Sedan a Jetta-like face with similar headlights (with LEDs as standard) and grille to the bigger model, as well as a very generic rear end with a pair of bland LED taillights.
Seen from the side, it’s obvious that we’re dealing with the 2020 Skoda Rapid as the window line and door cutouts are identical. A look inside makes this equally obvious as the Polo Sedan adopts a very similar dashboard as its Skoda-badged sibling. The infotainment systems are available with 6.5- or 8.25-inch touchscreen displays and the 10.25-inch Active Info Display digital instrument panel is optional.
Offered in four trim levels in Russia (Origin, Respect, Status and Exclusive), the 2020 VW Polo Sedan will be available with three gasoline engines: a 1.6-liter MPI naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with 90 PS (89 HP) or 110 PS (109 HP) and a 1.4-liter TSI turbo-four rated at 125 PS (123 HP). The 1.6-liter engines come equipped as standard with a five-speed manual gearbox, with the 110 PS unit also offering the option of a six-speed auto. As for the TSI, it’s paired exclusively with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Compared to theoutgoing Polo sedan, the new one is 93 mm (3.6 in) longer at 4,483 mm (176.5 in) and 13 mm (0.5 in) higher at 1,484 mm (58.4 in). It also has a 49 mm (1.9 in) longer wheelbase. This translates into increased space for rear passengers and a massive 550-liter boot (19.4 cu ft) – 90 liters (3.2 cu ft) bigger than before. The ground clearance has also increased by 7 mm (0.3 in) to 170 mm (6.7 in).
As with the Skoda Rapid, the VW Polo sedan will be built at theVolkswagen Group Rus plant in Kaluga, Russiaand will go on sale this summer.