If you just cannot get enough of hearing about my Polo R-Line, but would rather read about it elsewhere, then you prayers have been answered. Over the coming months I’ll be documenting my ownership of the R-Line over at PoloDriver.com
But in all seriousness, I am genuinely honoured to have been asked to contribute to somebody elses website. I’ve only been doing this internet writing thing for 18 months, so to have the chance to write something for PoloDriver.com truly means a lot.
This is especially true given the immense time and effort put into the site by owner Rich Gooding. I challenge you to spend five minutes on PoloDriver.com and not find out something new about Volkswagen’s supermini. For instance, did you know about the painfully rare 2004 Polo Club Sport? Or that VW India offers a version of the R-Line known as the GT TSI? Well, now you do.
Does music turn a drive into a journey? It’s something that struck me last weekend, as I found myself piloting the Polo R-Line along a short stretch of road from Crakehall to Catterick in North Yorkshire. It’s the one highlighted in blue on the image below:
Mapping via google.com
It’s a road I’ve driven a few times, but never with any real intent. However, last Saturday, everything seemed to align into a perfect opportunity to test the R-Line in the wild. It was warm and sunny, there was very little traffic as people made the most of the good weather, and this song came on the radio:
As you can see from the video, What It Feels Like by Armin Van Buuren is quite clearly a song that you’re meant to drive to. The beat and rhythm fitted perfectly as I threaded the Polo around the twisty bends, found the slightly too long travel of the suspension and worked the TSI motor for all it’s worth.
By the time I reached Catterick and joined the A1, I was grinning from ear to ear. Had I done that route with the radio off it would still have been enjoyable; but having a musical accompaniment just made it even better.
Whether this is the same for everyone, I’m not so sure. Up until recently I’d have probably turned the radio off to have maximum concentration when partaking in some “spirited driving” but playing Forza Horizon has probably made me contemplate music as part of the experience. In addition, should you be fortunate enough to be driving something with an aurally exciting engine (we’re talking V8, V12 territory), then I’m pretty sure you’d be in the music off category.
So if you’re out this weekend doing enthusiastic driving, will you be speakers up or windows down?
As you might have just read, after a huge period of indecision, ESM finally acquired a Volkswagen Polo R-Line. That was back in late January so, several months and miles later, just what has the kitted-up supermini been like to live with?
First, some photos from when it arrived and the cleanest it has been since, due to the excellent weather we’ve had.
Very black at this end.
Jutting jaw; watch out kerbs.
Still black here too.
Having had my hand ever-so-slightly forced into taking the Deep Black pearlescent option, I was pleased to find that it suited the R-Line well. The jutting front end gives it an aggressive appearance, with the rear diffuser and relatively large exhaust pipe making the back look equally sporty. On the motorway it has proved able to hustle and intimidate others out of its way well; something it’s predecessor never could. It’s just unfortunate that the colour is already living up to my fears; showing a couple of small scratches, much to my annoyance!
I intended to write and publish this item many, many, weeks ago. However, certain events transpired to prevent me from doing so. So here it is, now, slightly later than planned.
In short, the 9N3 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 SE pictured above is no longer with me, having been traded in for something else, which finally concluded the epic car-buying saga. It was in my possession for around 9 months, and in that time it failed to be anything if not underwhelming.
After the previous frantic experience of the Panda 100HP, I realised I needed something a little more sensible from my daily-driver. To be fair, you’ll struggle to get much more rational than a 1.4 petrol Polo in SE spec. Continue reading →
Writing about the Polo earlier this week got me thinking about my appreciation for VAG products in general. The result being a list forming, photos being researched and this post about some of the more obscure models to emerge from Germany that I have a fondness for. These are not in any particular order, just the way in which my brain spat them out onto paper.
1999 – 2005 Volkswagen Bora V5
For (almost) as long as the Golf has existed, VW has produced a version with a huge boot grafted onto the back-end to meet the demand of the American market. Those on the other side of the pond have, generally, shown a far greater demand for models with a trunk, resulting in the Jetta, Vento and Bora models. In Europe, these models have never garnered the same appreciation; leaving them to be the unloved middle child, wedged awkwardly between the smaller Golf, but larger Passat.
I, however, have a relative fondness for these ugly ducklings, and the Bora V5 is a particular favourite of mine. Packing 170bhp in later models, the narrow-angle five cylinder was as punchy as it was aurally satisfying. It’s also completely unassuming looking, making it an excellent Q-Car and thus why I love it. Continue reading →
Yesterday I mentioned how I would save the details of the Panda 100HP’s replacement until today. As promised, here is the new contender to fill the (obviously quite petite) shoes left by the baby Fiat:
Yes, like an errant homing pigeon finally finding the coop, I’ve returned to the Volkswagen stable. This 2006 Olympic Blue 9N3 model proved to be the best option when narrowing down the choices.
The biggest issue with being interested in cars and reading lots about them, is that you can pretty much make a pro’s and con’s list for any possible vehicle. So when you come to actually buy one for yourself, it’s possible to become lost in a wall of facts, figures, reviews and recommendations. In a bid to try to see the wood for the trees, I went back to what I know. The Polo. Continue reading →