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Needing a VW Polo engine? Then using ASAP Motors as a reference site is recommended. Plan ahead by checking with VW engine vendors in your area even before the event of an engine failure. It is wise to know what to expect before an accident occurs so you can be prepared.
As of 2014, there have been five separate generations of the Polo, usually identified by a "Series" or "Mark" number.
Some generations were facelifted midway through production, with the updated versions known unofficially by an addition of the letter F to the mark number, e.g. Mark IIF. Some press and enthusiasts consider the facelifts to be separate models and hence have used the unofficial designations Polo Mark 1 to Mark 7 for previous generations. Each model of Polo is also identified by a two or three character Volkswagen Group Typ number. Official VW Polo history describes Mark I to Mark IV using either Roman numerals or Arabic numerals, with facelifted variants known as "Phase II" models.
The body style has been varied through the life of the car, originally as a hatchback which derived from the Audi 50. A saloon version was marketed as the Volkswagen Derby.
Volkswagen vehicles built off different platforms have carried the Polo name plate. For example, the Volkswagen Polo Playa hatchback sold in Southern Africa in the late 1990s was a rebadged SEAT Ibiza which has a different body shell from the Mark III Polo sold in Europe at the same time. The current saloon is only available in China, Latin America and South Africa and other Southern Africa countries.
Starting in 1982, Volkswagen sold the Polo in Japan initially through an agreement with Japanese dealership Yanase that specializes in European and North American vehicles. Of all Volkswagens imported into Japan, only the Polo and the Golf, until 1997, complied with Japanese Government dimension regulations until the introduction of the VW Up! in 2012.
On the arrival of the Mark II model, the saloon was renamed the Volkswagen Polo Classic and the "conventional"-styled hatchback (with a sloping tailgate) was renamed as a coupé, the Volkswagen Polo Coupé. Unusually, the third (and new) body that was actually marketed as the Volkswagen Polo Hatchback was closer in concept to a small estate, albeit with exactly the same wheelbase and floor pan as the coupé instead of the (longer) saloon. This latter version, also known as the squareback (in the original German brochures, "steilheck", literally "steep tail") amongst other nicknames was the most popular in virtually every country where the Polo was sold. Despite the differences in silhouette and target market segment, all body types were 2- or 3-door only.
From the Mark III onwards, the range was more straightforwardly conventional, including unambiguous "saloon", "hatchback" and "estate" models, with only the hatchback offering both 5-door and slightly shorter 3-door models (both still with quite vertical tailgates, the "coupé" variation having been retired), the others being 4/5-door only and increasing in length from hatch to saloon to estate.
- 3-door hatchback (all versions) – the Mark II and Mark IIF were available in two separate 3-door hatchback styles, one of which was badged as a coupé
- 2-door saloon (Mark I, Mark IF, Mark II, Mark IIF)
- 4-door saloon (Mark III, Mark IIIF, Mark IV, Mark IVF, Mark V)
- 5-door hatchback (Mark III, Mark IIIF, Mark IV, Mark IVF, Mark V)
- 5-door estate (Mark III, Mark IIIF)
- 5-door crossover SUV-style (2WD) hatchback (Mark IV, Mark IVF, Mark V)