Speaking to Automotive News, Stefan Jacoby, Volkswagen
of America's CEO, confirmed that the automaker plans to expand its lineup by adding a slightly larger version of the new Polo to its U.S. portfolio. Although the vehicle will be based on the same architecture that underpins the new fifth-generation Polo that goes on sale in Europe this June, the supersized version we'll get will be proportioned to more closely meet what VW of America sees as the perceived requirements of buyers in this country. This long-wheelbase, stretched Polo is expected to arrive here around 2011 in both a conventional four-door sedan
and a five-door hatch/wagon
configuration that will take on the Honda Fit
. Still to be determined: exactly how much larger the U.S. Polo can be without having it cannibalize VW's existing Jetta and Rabbit lines -- and how to keep this relatively petite newcomer in the desired $13,000-$15,000 price window. Also under review are various powertrain possibilities. While the European Polo will use a new 1.2-liter gasoline four, a VW source we spoke with indicated that our larger -- and heavier -- Ameri-spec versions may well arrive fitted with an engine in the 1.6-2.0-liter range.