PASTS ENTWINED
evo India|July 2020
The Volkswagen Polo and this magazine are inextricably entwined – so much so, that the Polo was partially responsible for the creation of evo India. We look back over the years gone by to see how the Polo has been the centre of our enthusiast focussed stories
IF THERE WAS A CAR THAT WAS SOLELY responsible for kick-starting evo India magazine back in 2013, it was the humble Volkswagen Polo. You would think a performance car magazine was inspired by the high-octane, fire-breathing supercars of the day but no – it was a humble hatchback with aspirations far beyond the daily commute that did the job.

Four car enthusiasts from Pune, including editor Sirish, had formed a team called Slideways Industries to participate in the national rally championship. They were the first to develop the Polo for the INRC, the first to rally it, and the first to claim a class win with it as well – in its debut rally, no less.

While hooning around in the Polo, they realised that despite the abundance of automotive media in India, none of them quite portrayed the enthusiasm they had for cars. They decided to put together a magazine that authentically captured the joy they had rallying, but more importantly, reflected the joy of motoring and the fun that you can have with cars. With their combined expertise, they put together the first issue of evo India in October 2013 and there has been no looking back since!

RALLY POLO A few months after the Slideways Industries rally team debuted at the 2013 Nashik Rally, the team grew into the largest in the INRC with 8 Rally Polos being entered including one for Production World Rally Champion, Karamjit Singh. That kick-started development of the R2-spec Polo together with VW Motorsport factory engineers. The silverware pictured above at the 2014 Nashik rally was a regular haul for the team – the reliability of the Polo along with its speed ensuring all the team cars finished on the podium in every class they entered. In 2013 Slideways Industries also lifted the team championship.

RACE v STOCK POLO For the launch issue of evo India, we decided to pit the Polo Cup car that had been setting racetracks alight, against the recently launched Polo GT TSI. The GT TSI looked unassuming – much like the Polos that preceded it with their frugal but unenthusiastic 3-pot engines. However, under the hood was the most advanced motor we had seen in a hatchback of its size. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday – the GT TSI was born of that very philosophy. It was a bastion of performance when it was launched and remained so until as recently as last year.

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