These are the first pictures of Volkswagen do Brasil’s new Fox ‘Project 249’ small car that will be sold in Brazil and also exported to other markets including Europe, courtesy of just-auto’s Brazilian correspondent Rogério Louro.

The Fox is going into production in VW’s São José dos Pinhais plant, Paraná state and Brazilian sales begin in October.

Next year, VW will begin building export versions in its São Bernardo do Campo plant, in São Paulo state and will supply the new car to both Latin American and European markets and probably also some Asian countries when shipments begin in 2005.

Project 249 is based on the platform of the current Polo which is built as both a hatchback and a unique sedan version in Brazil. The new compact developed in Brazil is a totally different design from the Polo, however.

The new vehicle will initially be introduced in Brazil in three-door form with a five-door following at the start of 2004.

Compared with the Polo hatchback, the new car is 60mm shorter (3,840mm) but 80mm higher (1,560mm). The wheelbase is similar at 2,460mm. As a result of the extra height, Project 249 has a driving position 60mm higher than the Polo’s.

The rear seat can be moved in a 150mm range fore and aft as seen in a number of rival models.

The luggage area has a seats-up capacity of 260 litres, or 353 litres if the rear seat is slid forward. Folding the seat enlarges luggage capacity to 1,236 litres.

For Brazil, VW will fit the new model with eight valve, one-litre and 1.6-litre flexible fuel engines that can run on petrol, alcohol or a mixture of the two. VW will also sell a version of the new car with a standard 1.6-litre eight-valve petrol engine.

The Fox will be positioned between the Polo and the Brazil-unique Gol.