Volkswagen Motorsport has unveiled the rally-ready version of its Polo R WRC car in Monte Carlo tonight.
Developed over a 17-month period with the double World Champion and Dakar rally winner Carlos Sainz, the Polo is propelled by a turbocharged 1.6-litre TSI four-cylinder engine, limited to around 224 kW (300 hp) thanks to a regulatory air restrictor, with gears in the six-speed transmission shifted sequentially.
The aerodynamically optimized wheel arch extensions, doors and tailgate are constructed from carbon-Kevlar, helping the Polo to tip the scales at 1,200 kilograms – its minimum weight in accordance with FIA rules, while the width has grown to 1,820 millimetres, which is 138 mm wider than the regular road car.
Inside is strictly business, with the seats moved back to improve weight distribution with the centre console now just a fuse holder, while the lengthy handbrake lever is conveniently placed for the driver. On the other side of the cabin, the co-driver is treated to a rally computer relating critical data, such as distance travelled or the remaining time until the next time control.
“The launch of the Polo R WRC, which is now ready and raring to go, heralds a new era in motorsport for Volkswagen: the FIA World Rally Championship offers Volkswagen the opportunity to prove its sporty qualities in an environment, in which our cars have always been at home: on real streets,” said Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg.
Backed by Red Bull, Castrol and Michelin, the team will return on January 5 for the Rally Monte Carlo from 15, with Frenchmen Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia, and Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila hoping to hit the ground running.
[Source: Volkswagen Motorsport]