New Polo, Prius and Yeti unveiled at show

March 3, 2009 | By | In New Cars

Key new cars from VW, Toyota and Skoda were shown off this morning at Geneva Motor Show.

Come this autumn, this is the new version of Volkswagen’s Polo supermini that the company hopes you’ll rush to buy. It’s the fifth version of the car to emerge since the 1970s original.

Taking clear design cues from its lookalike big brother, the Golf; it will be slightly wider and longer than the current car. Although, in tune with other mainstream Volkswagens, it clearly resembles the car it’ll replace, the body is all-new, making it a fair bit lighter than the current model.

Most of the extra size is added to the cabin, to make it one of the biggest among rivals, which include the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.

Talking point of the range will be a new ‘eco’ Polo, which promises exhaust emissions of 87g/km – far lower than other similar cars on sale now – and fuel economy of up to 85mpg overall.

Prices for the new range will be announced nearer on-sale time. But, with things as they are, we’d be disappointed if they showed more than a token rise over what VW currently charges.

VW’s sister brand, Skoda, has been busy too, readying its new Yeti off-roader for market. The company hasn’t sold a vehicle like this in the UK before but this newcomer has strong Skoda design hallmarks, making it look familiar beside its Roomster and Fabia range-mates.

At just over 4.2 metres long it’s considerably smaller than, say, Land Rover’s Freelander and we expect that its closest rival will be Nissan’s Qashqai, which is a small family car with off-roader looks. Entry models will be front-wheel drive only but Skoda claims ‘outstanding off-road ability’ for all-wheel-drive Yetis. Skoda hasn’t yet announced an on-sale date or prices.

Toyota, meanwhile, has just unveiled its third-generation Prius. Like the current car, this will use petrol and electric motors harnessed together to deliver exceptional fuel economy and ultra-low carbon dioxide emissions. Despite this, it has a bigger petrol engine – a 1.8-litre will replace the current 1.5 – that delivers 134bhp, or over 20% extra power. Exhaust emissions will be 89g/km – a big improvement on the current Prius’s 104g/km. The new car is also exceptionally slippery through the air, having a drag co-efficient of Cd .025. Anything below Cd 0.30 is judged as ‘pretty good’.

Toyota intends to begin sales of the car here later in the year. It will announce prices nearer to then.

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