Volkswagen India pulls out Polo 1.6 petrol hatchback from official website: Car discontinued?
For a while now, there has been some buzz about German car maker Volkswagen discontinuing the top end 1.6 Liter petrol engined version of the Polo owing to the low sales this flagship variant brings in. While Volkswagen has not released official communication regarding discontinuing this model yet, it seems to have pulled the Polo 1.6 off its official website. This could indicate that Volkswagen has indeed chosen to discontinue the Polo 1.6 from the Indian car market. However, another Volkswagen group company, Skoda India, continues to display the Fabia 1.6 on its website.
Skoda dealers though claim that the Fabia 1.6 also has been discontinued from the Indian market owing to poor sales. This move is a sensible one as the Fabia is already suffering from low sales, with its monthly numbers not even touching the 500 mark. In contrast, the Polo has managed to clock over 3,000 units consistently. That said, majority of the sales of both the Volkswagen Polo and the Skoda Fabia come from the diesel engined variants. Both cars are equipped with the 1.2 Liter, 3 cylinder turbo diesel engine that pumps out 72 Bhp of peak power and 180 Nm of peak torque.
This engine is rated at an ARAI certified fuel efficiency number of 22.07 Kmpl. Coming back to the petrol engined variants of the Polo and the Fabia, both cars are available with a 1.2 Liter, 3 cylinder MPI petrol engine, which is available in the entry level base variants of these hatchbacks. The much bigger and powerful 1.6 Liter engine, that has been borrowed from the likes of the Vento and Rapid sedans, by VW and Skoda. Th 1.6 Liter petrol engine delivers a peak power of 105 Bhp and a peak torque of 150 Nm. The powerful nature of this engine makes the Polo 1.6 and Fabia 1.6 the most powerful hatchbacks in India.
However, if these engine variants are no longer available on the Polo and the Fabia, both these cars will lose their hot hatch status. In India, cars with powerful engines, especially hatchbacks, have never really enjoyed success. Fiat had to discontinue the Palio 1.6 and so did General Motors, when both the Chevrolet Corsa Sail 1.6 and the SR-V hatchbacks were culled. Given the high prices of petrol and the low fuel economy that bigger engined hatchbacks offer, these cars have always been restricted to driving enthusiasts.
But now, even driving enthusiasts might not have enough choices to choose from if the Polo 1.6 and the Fabia 1.6 are discontinued. Just as eternal hope springs from the heart, turbo petrol engines could be the next big thing for hot hatchbacks in India. Ford is unveiling the 1 Liter EcoBoost turbo petrol engine is the EcoSport crossover early next year. So expect more car makers to come up with turbo petrol engines that are both powerful and torquey while delivering excellent fuel economy and low tail pipe emissions.