Volkswagen launched its fifth-generation Polo at the Geneva show today. The new car is completely restyled, fractionally bigger, a little lighter, has some new engine options and is the first of this long-running (34 years and counting) B-segment line to offer a twin clutch automatic transmission and factory fit navigation.

European sales begin within months and launch in the key UK right hand drive market is scheduled for October.

The new model, looking very like the recently revamped C-segment Golf from the front, is 7.5% lighter, 36mm longer at 3,952mm, 1,682mm wide (+32mm) and 13mm lower at 1,454 mm. Front and rear tracks are wider, luggage capacity is up and VW said new construction and extra standard safety equipment allows it to meet the recently introduced five-star EuroNCAP standard.

Naturally aspirated 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrol engines are carried over from the previous generation and joined by a new turbocharged 105ps 1.2-litre TSI petrol unit while the diesel option is now a new 1.6-litre TDI common rail diesel in 75 or 90ps tune. Five- or six-speed manual gearboxes are standard and the 1.4-litre petrol engine can be ordered with a seven-speed DSG gearbox.

A low-CO2 BlueMotion version will be added shortly after launch with 1.6-litre 90 PS TDI common rail diesel and five-speed gearbox with lengthened ratios in third, fourth and fifth, achieving up to 74 mpg while emitting 96g/km of CO2 – bettering the outgoing model.

In 2010 the second generation BlueMotion will follow.  Shown as a concept car at Geneva, this has a new 75ps 1.2-litre, three-cylinder common rail diesel capable of returning 85mpg on the EU combined test cycle while generating 87g/km of CO2. This is thanks to a package of modifications including the new engine, automatic stop-start and regenerative braking, revised gear ratios, optimised underbody aerodynamics, suspension lowered by 15 mm and low rolling resistance tyres.

Range-wide standard safety equipment includes four airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stabilisation and Isofix child seat anchor points.