Volkswagen Has Made A Car For Farmers, And No, It’s Not A Truck

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The Volkswagen Polo will be turning 50 next year, plenty of time for the small car to take many forms. Since its launch in 1975, it’s been sold as a hatchback, sedan, wagon, and even as a crossover – remember the Polo Cross? This year, the company’s Brazilian division is revisiting the idea of a more rugged version with a raised suspension.

Called the Polo Robust, the new flavor of the supermini has been engineered specifically for farmers. VW Brazil claims the new crossover-esque derivative has been “developed and tested with customers in the agricultural segment” in mind. Since it has to tackle rougher roads, the hatchback on stilts has better ground clearance. Think Dacia Sandero Stepway.

There’s more to the Polo Robust than its lifted suspension since VW Brazil is also giving it vinyl seats. It’s the easiest type of upholstery to clean after a hard day of work at the farm. In addition, you also get rubber floor mats and even a trailer hitch. However, owners won’t be able to tow heavy loads since the workhorse is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.0-liter gasoline engine. It only makes 84 horsepower and 101 Newton-meters (75 pound-feet) of torque routed to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

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The raised hatchback is a car alternative to the two pickup trucks available locally, the new Saveiro and the larger Amarok. The latter is still in its first generation in Brazil where VW continues to sell the original model it developed in-house. Launched last year, the second-generation model is based on the Ranger and is even built by Ford.