This is the Volkswagen Polo Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) model, which uses the VW Groups cylinder shut-off technology to help improve fuel consumption and cut CO2 emissions under light engine loads.
We drove a prototype model, but a production version is due on sale later this year.
Whats it like to drive? The VW Polo ACT is impressively rounded. Thats because apart from having a 138bhp version of VWs 1.4 TSI petrol engine its a standard Polo for much of the time. It drives, stops and steers every bit as well as the standard car which is very well.
What's really clever about the Polo ACT, though, is that it's totally unnoticeable when two of its cylinders are shut down. The change from four- to two-cylinder operation during periods of cruising, for example and back again is completely imperceptible. If it wasnt for the dashboard displaying a two-cylinder mode message, you wouldnt know anything out of the ordinary was occurring.
Whats it like inside? Theres nothing to distinguish the Polo ACT from any other model in the range, which means theres the same excellent driving position, straightforward dashboard layout and high-quality materials youll find in any Polo.
Should I buy one? The Polo ACT is due to go on sale late in 2012. VW sources suggest that itll be a stand-alone model in the range. The 138bhp power output places it between the 1.2 TSI and GTI models, so a price of around 17,000 seems likely.
What Car? says