The small-car surge in the U.S. was cut short in 2008 when once-high fuel prices dropped as suddenly as they'd risen, but the future of the market seems clear: prices will rise again, and small cars will be the best solution. To that end, Volkswagen now appears to be contemplating bringing the Polo to the U.S. to help meet the expected demand.

VW's current smallest car in the U.S. is the Rabbit (Golf to the rest of the world), which sits around the middle of VW's global range. The smaller Polo could offer even smaller and more efficient engines, which could help bring a new premium entry to the small car market while at the same time helping VW meet next-generation CAFE standards.

The report of VW's consideration of the Polo for American sale originates with a VW executive interviewed on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show by Automotive News Europe. VW development chief Ulrich Hackenburg said, "The small car segment is the fastest growing segment in the U.S. Oil Prices will rise again and that will drive small car sales up further."

Talk of the Polo coming to the U.S. has been ongoing for more than a year, however, so it will remain to be seen if the car makes it here before it gets its next-generation upgrade, if it comes at all. An upcoming MPV variant might suit American tastes well, and offer stiff competition to the likes of the Honda Fit and Yaris five-door.

If the Polo does come to the U.S., expect them to originate in the company's Mexican plant at Puebla. No time-line for production or sale has yet been announced, and official commentary from VW's public relations department remains noncommittal.