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|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door saloon|
|Platform||Volkswagen A01 platform|
|Engine||0.9 L I4 (petrol)
1.1 L I4 (petrol)
1.3 L I4 (petrol)
|Wheelbase||2,330 mm (91.7 in)|
|Length||3,866 mm (152.2 in)|
|Width||1,559 mm (61.4 in)|
|Height||1,352 mm (53.2 in)|
|Curb weight||745 kg (1,642 lb)|
With 72,412 sold in 1977 alone the car was initially popular, outselling the Polo sister model in that year, but sales quickly tailed off in subsequent years.
During 1981, Volkswagen introduced the second generation Polo and the second generation Derby; in 1984 the Derby name was dropped and the saloon version of the Polo became the Volkswagen Polo Classic.
Most parts of the Derby are interchangeable with the Mk1 Polo, and many drivetrain components are compatible with the Mk2 models. Body parts at the rear and also the rear window are different and are directly attributable to the original design version of this vehicle, which was intended to be marketed as the Audi 60. Lights of the early version are the same as the Mk1 Polo and the car which began this design: the Audi 50, which dates to just before the full merger of Audi and Volkswagen.
This was 1979 Semperit Irish Car of the Year in Ireland.
In Europe, the Derby was available with 0.9-litre (895 cc), 1.1-litre (1,093 cc) and 1.3-litre (1,272 cc) four-cylinder engines, with 40, 50 and 60 bhp respectively. The Derby Formel E ("Formula E"), offered in 1981 only, was an economy-optimised Derby featuring, among other things, a longer ratio gearbox, automatic engine turn-off when idling and a high compression version on the 1.1 L engine that demanded super instead of regular petrol. The Formel E concept was also available on other contemporary VW and Audi models.
The following versions were available:
- 900 L
- 1100 LS
- 1100 LX
- 1100 CLS
- 1300 LS
- 1300 GL
- 1300 GLS
- 1100 Formel E
In 1979, the Derby underwent a face lift together with the Polo. The restyle attempted to separate the styling of the Polo and the Derby more significantly, which also brought the styling of the Derby into line with its bigger counterpart the Volkswagen Jetta. These revisions included rectangular headlamps, a restyled grille and plastic bumpers, together with some interior changes including a new dashboard and instrumentation taken from the Mk1 Golf.
In 1984, the Derby was re-badged as the Polo Classic in Europe, and the Derby's unique squared headlamp front end, which had been carried over from the Mk1, was replaced with standard Polo equipment.
In the UK, the Derby name was dropped with the Mk1, and the Polo Classic name was used from the Mk2's inception. However, early Polo Classics still retained the Derby styling. In turn, the "Classic" branding for the saloon was dropped in 1987 which meant that the Polo and Derby integration was complete.
In 1991, the Polo saloon was withdrawn and would not return until 1996, when a version based on a badge-engineered Seat Córdoba platform was launched. This version was known as the Volkswagen Derby in Mexico.
This model was not sold outside Europe, although some parts of Eurasia did get the Derby (Turkey, Cyprus and Malta were the main export markets within Eurasia) and also some parts of Eastern Europe bordering on Asia. The name was used on a re-badged Seat Córdoba in Mexico (see below), that was marketed as the Volkswagen Polo Classic saloon in Eurasia.
The Volkswagen Derby arrived to Mexico in late 1994 as a 1995 model and was imported from Spain until the end of the same year, model years 1996 and 1997 were assembled by Volkswagen de México with Spanish imported parts (In this first season, the Mexican sold Derby was a rebadged SEAT Córdoba. For the 1998 model year and until the 2002 model year, the Derby was imported again from Spain, but now it was the European Volkswagen Polo Classic with the 1.8 L engine with 90 hp and a five-speed manual gearbox. For the 2000 model, the Derby had the same restyling (affecting windshield, dashboard and side mirrors) than in Europe.
In 2002, the Derby began to be imported from Argentina initially as the "Derby Wolfsburg Edition" because production had already being stopped in Europe. In this new presentation the Derby had some modification in badges, headlights and a new version with the 2.0 L 115 hp engine. In the next few months the argentinian Derby was now the regular model in Trendline (1.8 L) and Sportline (2.0 L) trims.
The 2005 model year was refreshed and had a resemblance of the facelift of the first generation Seat Córdoba, but soon after as the competition in that segment grew the Derby began losing sales, so serious, that in the 2008 model year only 2,987 units were sold, while in the early 2000s in the poorest years were sold around 10,000 units. The Van was the same second generation Volkswagen Caddy. In 2005, it received the same facelift as the Derby and also was a poor selling model, so that at the same time the Derby sedan was discontinued Volkswagen Mexico decided to drop it too. In Argentina, the Polo Classic has stayed on the market until the end of 2010. In most Latin American countries it was replaced by the new Volkswagen Voyage (Gol Sedan).
The Polo Classic (Typ 6K) and Caddy (Typ 9K) have been produced since 2000, although saloon versions of the third generation of the Polo have not been sold in Europe since 2001. All the facelifted Polo Classic models are built in Argentina.
This model had a 1.8-litre engine, which was exclusive to South America, and not offered on the European Volkswagen Polo saloon or estate.
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