The new Polo has been officially unveiled, ushering in revisions in efficiency, packaging, dynamics and styling. A larger line-up both dimensionally and in powerplants, the Polo Mk V aims at setting a new class standard.

It's official. The new and significantly-improved Volkswagen Polo Mk V has been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. Ushering in revisions in efficiency, packaging, dynamics and styling, the Polo aims at setting a new class standard.

A design team fronted by Walter de Silva, Head of Design at Volkswagen Group, drew on the design direction introduced by Scirocco and Golf models and gave the Polo a clean and distinctive take. Smooth surfaces and uncluttered lines take precedence to reinforce solidity while sleek front lamps and horizontal grille details betray a lowered ride height and wider track.

So yes, the Polo has grown. But it's to cleverly thought-out packaging that the more spacious interior owes its thanks. At 3,952 mm, the Polo Mk V is only 36 mm longer than its predecessor, with its width widening by 32 mm to 1,682 mm and the height dropping by 13 mm for an enhanced stance. With these new dimensions, so change the interior dimensions with head, shoulder and legroom all gaining. What's more, loading space also increases, to a minimum of 280 and maximum of 952 litres depending on configuration. All models gain four airbags, anti-lock brakes, ESP and ISOFIX anchor points fitted as standard.

Volkswagen's attention to detail is in plain sight in the new cabin with 'elegant' dials set into a dashboard made of quality, soft touch plastics and boasting a range of subtle aluminium highlights. A three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, MP3 connection and the RNS 310 navigation system are all available for optional specification - the latter a Polo first.

A new range of efficient engines pack the Polo with its punch. Two new powertrains on offer include a turbocharged 1.2-litre TSI and all-new 1.6-litre TDI common rail diesel join naturally-aspirated 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol options. All engines are equipped with 5 and 6-speed manual gearboxes as standard, while selected versions, with another first for the Polo, are optionally available with VW's advanced seven-speed DSG gearbox.

The Polo will also, building on the offering of its predecessor, gain the addition of not one, but two BlueMotion models. The first, the 1.6-litre 90PS TDI BlueMotion, will join the range shortly after launch. It ushers in 74 mpg (Imp) while emitting just 96 g/km of CO2 - beating the outgoing model, already one of the cleanest vehicles on sale.

In 2010, the second-generation BlueMotion will join the line-up utilising a new 75PS 1.2-litre common rail diesel powerplant and seeing improvements to underfloor aerodynamics, gearbox ratios, lowered suspension and the fitting of automatic Stop-Start and regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tyres. Fuel consumption of 85 mpg and emissions of just 87 g/km of CO2 will be achievable.

Production starts in the summer for the UK market, with deliveries expected to begin October.

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