Launched in 1994, the third-generation Volkswagen Polo was all-new compared to its predecessor first in the history of the model to be offered with five doors. A selection of naturally aspirated gas engines was initially available, later joined by a 1.9-liter diesel in NA and turbocharged forms. Interestingly, the Polo MK3 shared some components and engines with the SEAT Ibiza MK2 but the two had no body details in common.
In 1996, the Polo 6N received a new entry-level engine in the form of a 1.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with an all-new aluminum block and multi-point injection. The little engine was capable of generating a peak output of 50 horsepower (37 kilowatts), sent to the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox.
Obviously, performance was not the focus in this version as the hatchback required more than 20 seconds to hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) from a standstill. The top speed was equally unimpressive at 90 mph (145 kph), though the combined fuel consumption was adequate at less than 6.0 liters per 100 km on average. Doesn’t sound too exciting, right?
In reality, however, there’s something very adorable in watching an old 50-hp (37-kW) car stretch its legs on the German Autobahn. That’s where we often see some of the world’s fastest cars but in this new video, the underpowered Polo tries to hit its top speed.
And... surprise! On paper, it shouldn’t be capable of more than about 90 mph (145 kph) but the speedometer of this Polo 1.0 shows 155 kph during this Autobahn run. Admittedly, you actually have to floor the car non-stop if you want to flow with normal traffic, but that’s what makes this Polo a more exciting car than any supercar.