In what's being touted as a first-in-class application of the technology, Volkswagen now offers a 6-speed automatic transmission in its Polo small car. Mated to the company's 1.6L 4-cylinder, VW states that the 6-speed Tiptronic's gearing is configured to maximize refinement and that the driving experience feels closer to that of one of their mid-level vehicles.

In addition to the usual P-R-N-D, the Tiptronic's gear selector also gets an "S" added. When this Sport mode is chosen, shifts occur at higher revolutions and 6th gear is not used at all, as the car hits its top end in 5th. Naturally, the driver can also choose to shift manually if that's his or her wish.

The Polo's fuel economy rating with the new drivetrain setup is 7.4L/100km - a little over 31 mpg.

More details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: VW via German Car Blog]


PRESS RELEASE:

Mid-class comfort and convenience in the Polo: new six-speed automatic gearbox
Reduced fuel consumption andreduced noise levels

Wolfsburg, 23 August 2006 - The Polo is now available with a six-speed automatic gearbox - the first vehicle in its class to offer this level of comfort and convenience. In conjunction with the new 77 kW / 105 hp 1.6-litre petrol engine, the gearbox gives the Polo the characteristics of a mid-class vehicle in the small vehicle segment.

The Polo is one of the most successful and versatile small cars in Europe. It has once again raised the bar with the new engine/gearbox combination and is the first vehicle in its class to have a six-speed automatic gearbox with gear ranges which are closer together for smoother performance. This is now the second automatic gearbox available in the wide Polo range of seven petrol engines and four diesel engines.

In combination with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with 77 kW/105 hp, the Polo is capable of a top speed of 187 km/h. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 11.3 seconds. The combined fuel consumption is 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres.

The Polo Trendline with the six-speed automatic gearbox coupled with the 1.6-litre petrol engine has a starting price of 15,500 euros. It is also available in the Comfortline and Sportline versions. The "Goal" special model starts at 16,875 euros. The equipment package of the Polo "Goal" represents a price saving of 918 euros.

The Volkswagen Bank has attractive financing options for the Polo "Goal" and for other models in its "All-Inclusive" programme. With the Volkswagen "carefree package" ("AutoCredit" personal contract purchase), the monthly payment for the Polo "Goal" with a six-speed automatic gearbox is, for example, just 152 euros*. This not only includes comprehensive vehicle insurance and an extended warranty but also the option of outstanding payment cover with free integrated income protection insurance. In addition, the Volkswagen carefree package includes free inspection and maintenance for four years.

The six-speed automatic gearbox is offered with a Tiptronic function (+/-) and the gears P-R-N-D-S. The "S" position gives the driver a sporty driving programme in which the automatic gearbox changes gear at higher engine speeds. In the "S" position the gearbox does not shift into the sixth gear as the top speed is reached in the fifth gear. In addition to this, the Tiptronic function, now also available in the Polo, enables the driver to select a gear manually. The long sixth gear reduces the engine speed and thus reduces fuel consumption, which is particularly noticeable in motorway driving. This also has a positive side-effect: the noise level is reduced.

The 1.6-litre engine is also available with a manual five-speed gearbox.