donderdag 12 januari 2012

Sehr Clever, how VW turned the Polo into the new Golf

It has been an ongoing trend at the launch of new models, the new Fiesta/Polo/Panda has to be bigger than the previous one. Be it by a few centimeters, it is a purely symbolic measure to convince the customer that the new Panda/Polo/Fiesta gives you more value for money than the old one. And when you stick to this trend for long enough, you eventually will make room for a new model. Therefore, Polo is the new Golf, dahling!
A small statistic to underline what I am saying here, it compares the length and width of the several generations of Polos and Golfs:

Generation // Length // Width // Difference
Polo I        // 3.51m // 1.56m //
Golf I        // 3.71m // 1.61m // +0.2, +0.05

Polo II      // 3.72m // 1.57m //
Golf II      // 3.99m // 1.67m // +0.27, +0.1

Polo III    // 3.71m // 1.66m //
Golf III    // 4.02m // 1.70m // +0.31, +0.04

Polo IV   // 3.90m // 1.65m //
Golf IV   // 4.14 - // 1.73m // +0.24/0.5, +0.08

Polo V   // 3.92m // 1.65m //
Golf V   // 4.20m // 1.76m // +0.28, +0.11

Polo VI // 3.97m // 1.68m //
Golf VI // 4.20m // 1.79m // +0.23, +0.11

In their lifespan the cars grew 46 and 49 centimeters in length and 12 and 18 centimeters in width, which doesn't seem like an awful lot, but on a car of 4 meters in length 50 centimeters represents 1/8 of the total length. Some funny lines to be drawn, the current Polo is virtually as big as the Golf II/III, which was not a small car, was it? Even the Polo launched in 2001 can be called equal to ye olde Golfe. I am also slightly surprised that the Golf doesn't turn out to be as much bigger than the Polo as I believed it to be.

But what is the point of this conspiracy comparison of yours, I hear you think. Well, have you noticed how many company cars have changed from Diesel Golfs into three-cylinder Polos? Exactly what VW wanted to happen, they make their small(er) Polo a bit bigger to resemble a smaller, more nimble and efficient Golf and price it a little more practical and there is your new Volkshatch. With the Polo being the new people's hatch, Volkswagen make the Golf a little more luxurious by putting a satnav in (I assume) and make some more cash on that. Until some point in the future, when the Lupo/UP!/Whateverthesmallcariscalled becomes big enough to be the Polo, I mean Golf, er?? Hatchback. Which is what will happen this year, the new Lupo is quite close to the size of the initial Polo. In 35 year Volkswagen have moved every car so gently that they created room for a new model, marketing +1.

Now don't you tell me this is not true, Rally fans should have noticed by now that Rally cars have shrunk from Focus/C4 size to Fiesta/DearShiny3 (DS3 for others). Are the cars any slower? No. Could the new regulations have been applied to the old, bigger cars? Sure. But then people would still be buying Focusses/C4s. Where are the times when a big Pantzer Merc S-class or a gigantic Volvo 240 Estate could be qualified as a touring car? Everything is becoming smaller, which is fun in the city, but I want to see big cars going sideways on a track.

WTCC Champion 2019: Kimi Alonso in a 1.25l, 3 cylinder Ford Ka.
I warned you ;)

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