In the early nineties, Volkswagen felt something coming in the air tonight; something telling it to make a special-order-only version of the Series 2 Polo. And lo, the Polo G40 Genesis was born.
The Polo G40 Genesis is an oddity. A questionable marketing decision for the ageing Polo, designed to make it more appealing to the hip and trendy youth of the time. The Germans chortled at the mere idea of the Polo MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice, so VW decided on the band of choice for the dads of the target audience.
Bland of confusion
Built to mark Volkswagen's sponsorship of the prog rock band's 1992 world tour, the Genesis was powered by the G40's supercharged engine, and then painted in a layer of what can only be described as ‘Willy Wonka Waistcoat’ purple. VW also graced it with simultaneously the worst and best seat upholstery I have ever seen, along with Genesis decals and an upgraded stereo to pump out some tunes from the band's fourteenth studio album.
Only one right-hand drive Polo Genesis made it to the UK to coincide with the 'We Can't Dance' tour of 1992, but the name did return in 1993, albeit as a diluted trim level based on the Fox. Check out all the always excellent PoloDriver for more info. Thankfully the one-off UK car survives, and if you’re the lucky owner you can sleep sound knowing Messrs Collins, Banks and Rutherford might’ve clapped eyes on it once or twice.
I Can’t France
Furthermore, the Polo Genesis was advertised in France with one of the weirdest adverts I have ever seen. I'd like to describe it but I can’t make head nor tail of a rather suggestive A Bugs Life with bouts of French and the soothing tones of Phil Collins.
If you have a burning desire to watch something that leaves you questioning your sanity more than Grace Jones disappearing into an even larger Grace Jones head in a Citroën CX, I encourage you to watch it:
I love the Polo Genesis; it’s a blend of everything that makes special editions… special. An oddly niche theme, spectacular graphics and very, very loud seat fabric. The concept must have worked for VW, as the Golf Pink Floyd, Bon Jovi and Rolling Stones graced showroom floors only a few years later. The Rolling Stones edition even made it to these shores.
We need a modern take on the Polo Genesis. A Polo Coldplay, perhaps? Maybe a Golf One Direction. All I know is Volkswagen needs to rediscover its Invisible Touch...
(A Genesis G70 Shooting Brake Genesis must be on the cards - ed.)