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by George Skentzos

The fifth generation Volkswagen Polo has been unveiled as the Geneva Motor Show unfolds on the other side of the world.

Styled by a team led by Volkswagen Group head of design, Walter de Silva, the new super-mini from VW draws on the design direction established by the Scirocco and Golf.

Despite being marginally wider and longer than its predecessor, the new Polo weighs 7.5 per cent less than the vehicle it replaces – promising greater refinement and efficiency.

The slightly larger dimensions afford greater interior space inside the new Polo – head, shoulder and legroom have all increased, as has the load volume which now totals a minimum of 280 litres and a maximum of 952 litres.

2009 Volkswagen Polo unveiled at Geneva

The new Polo is powered by a range of naturally aspirated 1.2- and 1.4-litre engines as well as a new turbocharged 1.2-litre TSI petrol unit joining another all-new 1.6-litre TDI common-rail diesel engine.

All models are equipped with either a five- or six-speed manual transmission as standard – as well as an optional seven-speed DSG on selected models for the first time.

Already a very highly efficient car, VW is going one step further with a BlueMotion variant also set to join the range shortly after launch.

The Polo BlueMotion will be capable of an insane 2.8 litre per 100kms on the combined cycle while generating just 87g/km of CO2

This has been made possible by an all-new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, common-rail diesel engine, automatic Stop-Start and regenerative braking, a gearbox with revised ratios, optimised aerodynamics beneath the vehicle, suspension lowered by 15mm and the use of low rolling resistance tyres.

2009 Volkswagen Polo unveiled at Geneva

Inside, the new Polo range boasts white backlit dials, subtle aluminium highlights, the option of a handy air-conditioned glovebox and the RNS 310 touchscreen satellite navigation system can be specified along with a three-spoke, multifunction steering wheel for the first time in the Polo.

The new Polo features a comprehensive list if standard safety equipment including for the first time on all models four airbags, anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) and ISOFIX anchor points all as standard.