Volkswagen has already started to pave the way for the launch of the Polo 2023 before the year ends, showing precisely one of the main highlights of the restyling of the compact: the headlights. They will be full-led from the entry-level version (something that, let’s face it, is becoming common in its segment) and have the same format used in the new European Polo.
Who can really celebrate this similarity will be the Polo GTS 2023: its headlights will be exactly the same as the European Polo GTI, the IQ.Light with matrix LEDs and LED daytime running lights composing a signature on the base of the piece, which will be imported from Spain. These headlights can erase sections of the high beam so as not to dazzle other vehicles, for example.
The hope remains for an illuminated bar at the base of the grille, in the style of Taos, connecting the headlights. But VW’s silence on the Virtus GTS could signal the end of the sports sedan. This is bad news for anyone who saw it as an alternative to the Jetta 1.4 TSI. By the way, not many.
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The full-led headlights of the other versions, all with variations of the 1.0 three-cylinder engine, are national, manufactured by Arteb. The most curious thing is that, despite having LEDs for arrows, high beam and low beam, the LED daytime running lights (DRL) are represented by the position light, starting to emit more light. In other words: this time the Polo has DRL as standard and integrated into the headlights, but it will continue without LED signatures in the more affordable versions.
Volkswagen did not mention the lanterns, which will maintain the same format as the current Polo.
Are there any advantages to this exchange? Many.
Volkswagen engineering projects a lifespan up to 25 times longer for LEDs compared to conventional halogen lamps. If nothing goes wrong, it will cover pretty much the entire designed life of the car.
LED headlights also illuminate further and further. The old Polo headlights emitted 450 lumens and were capable of illuminating 70 meters ahead. The new full-led headlights of the Polo 2023 emit 700 lumens and their beam reaches 130 meters ahead. The IQ.Light of the new Polo GTS can illuminate up to 170 meters ahead with the same 700 lumens, thanks to the design with sections of LEDs behind elliptical projectors.
This is another important difference: in conventional full-led the lighting modules are on top and are reflected by the projectors immediately below.
There is also a long-term economy. LEDs heat up less and use less energy to generate more light than conventional halogen lamps, requiring up to 95% less energy from the car’s electrical system. According to Volkswagen, this implies a reduction in consumption of around 3% over a year.
where the cost increases
In the case of a conventional headlamp, the cost of halogen lamps does not represent more than 8% of the entire set. In the case of LED headlights, the lighting modules represent up to 70% of the cost. They are much more expensive.
Matrix headlights still require processors and a signal from a camera positioned on the windshield, it is very expensive. For luxury cars (and it’s not even normal for them) a headlight can cost a few tens of thousands of reais. Having insurance is essential.
But the worst can happen: what if you burn?
Better still under warranty. But the solution does not always involve replacing the complete headlight. The simplest full-led headlights, it is possible to change only the defective LED module.
The IQ.Light headlamps, although they are armored, are already prepared to be opened and receive a new module as a repair, which would be fixed in holes that are already provided for in the housing. You just can’t fix the led signature if it burns out.
More powerful 170 TSI engine
Previously leaked official data also prove the launch of the Polo 170 TSI, with a 1.0 12V TSI engine in a configuration of 116 hp with ethanol and 109 hp with gasoline. It’s the same engine as the Up TSI, with the same torque: 16.8 kgfm with both fuels. The Polo will only have a five-speed manual transmission. The Virtus 2023, however, will have a six-speed automatic transmission.
The consumption of both is already known. The Polo 170 TSI does 9.6 km/l in the city and 11.6 km/l on the highway, when fueled with ethanol. Using gasoline, it improves to 13.8 km/l and 16.5 km/l.
Virtus TSI manual already had consumption data released by Inmetro: with ethanol, it is 9.6 km/l (city) and 11.4 km/l (road); gasoline, the set yields 13.8 km/l (city) and 16.3 km/l (road).
Comfortline and Highline versions, however, will continue with the 1.0 TSI engine with up to 128 hp and 20.4 kgfm, always with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 150 hp and 25.5 kgfm 1.4-litre turbo will now be restricted to the Polo GTS.