• PEOPLE’S CARS

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    VW Jetta (left) will soon have a gasoline option. Polo Notch billed as “People’s Car.‘”

    VW Jetta (left) will soon have a gasoline option. Polo Notch billed as “People’s Car.‘”

    AUTOMOBILE Central Enterprise Inc. (ACEI), the official distributor of Volkswagen in the Philippines, recently announced the arrival of two new sedans that add to its present model lineup.

    Launched by the Ayala-owned company were the VW Jetta 2.0 TDI and the Polo Notch 1.6 TDI, which both have turbochargers and common-rail direct injection diesel engines.

    At the launch event, ACEI also announced it would soon introduce gasoline-powered vehicles in the country. The company’s marketing head, Arnel Doria, said that a gasoline variant of the Jetta will be launched sometime in February, with the car having a 1.2-liter engine. This upcoming model, called Jetta 1.2 TSI, will be available with a six-speed manual transmission.

    A “Notch” higher
    According to Doria, VW has sold more than 10.6 million Polo models worldwide since 1975. The Polo Notch 1.6 TDI is among the subcompact sedans that have garnered a Euro NCAP five-star rating.

    The latest Polo Notch’s 1.6 TDI engine is capable of providing high torque ratings at low revs, putting out 250Nm from 1,500rpm to 2,000rpm. The variant is based on its hatchback counterpart, and can also dish out extra excitement as its power output can reach 103.5hp at 4,400rpm.

    ACEI President JP Orbeta said that the introduction of the Polo Notch 1.6 TDi is the company’s way of expressing that VW lives up to its promise of offering a “People’s Car.”

    “Volkswagen has always been known as the ‘People’s Car,’ and with the introduction of the Polo Notch, the possibilities of owning a fine German car with the latest in technological advancements become more attainable for Filipinos,” Orbeta said.

    The Polo Notch is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, fabric seats, a leather steering wheel and matte chrome trim. It is priced at P950,000.

    No diet with the Jetta
    The Jetta 2.0 TDI, a slightly bigger car than the Polo Notch, eyes to showcase sophistication and dynamics in a compact sedan. The Jetta’s dimensions and wheelbase length are similar to that of other cars in its class. The car is Euro4-compliant while the yet-to-be-launched 1.2-liter variant has passed Euro5 emission standards.

    Orbeta said that Jetta “successfully combines elegance and sportiness in a compact sedan at an affordable price, without having to compromise on quality, innovation and fuel efficiency.”

    Like the Polo Notch, the Jetta is equipped with cloth-covered seats, leather steering wheel and matte chrome trim.

    The Jetta 2.0 TDI with a five-speed manual transmission sells for P1.295 million while the upcoming 1.2 TSI with the six-speed manual transmission will cost P1.240 million.

    Overcoming fuel woes
    Doria assured that VW’s gasoline-powered models that are set to be introduced in the country have overcome the company’s initial concern with the quality of gasoline sold locally. According to him, the oil companies have clarified certain questions on the quality of gasoline that’s available in the Philippines.

    “There was an initial concern [on the quality of gasoline]but the issue has been resolved,” Doria said, adding that the delayed arrival of VW’s gasoline variants is caused by unit unavailability.

    “If one could read the owner’s manual [of our vehicles], the only caution listed is ‘Do not to use gasoline that has metal additives,’” Doria said.

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