Attention to detail as an expressive means in its own right, essential and logical forms and graphic elements created by intersecting volumes instead of being mere applied decoration. This is how the new Polo took shape in a project beginning in February 2007 on a modified version of the P24 platform, which also underpins two other Volkswagen Group B segment offerings, the Skoda Fabia and the Seat Ibiza launched last year.

The themes applied by the Volkswagen brand design team, headed by Klaus Bischoff, were those defined by creative director for the entire group Flavio Manzoni and already seen on the three Up concepts (previewing a new family of compact cars) and the Golf VI, albeit in different keys. This was a particularly intense project, and the style of the Polo VI was already signed off by November 2007.

The new B segment is tasked with bridging the gap in the Volkswagen range between a future entry level model – the production version of the Up – and the Golf, whose facial traits it echoes.

After the initial proposal, with rounded headlights and a bonnet with a U-shaped motif citing the New Beetle, was dropped, the physiognomy of the Polo took on the more grown-up features of the Golf VI, with boldly horizontal headlights joined by a narrow grille demarcated by two straight lines representing the brand’s new identity.

The badge, originally set on the bonnet, has been moved down into the centre of the grille, cutting slightly into the leading edge of the bonnet above, and the bumper below.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 176

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