World premiere of the Volkswagen Polo R WRC
- 14th September 2011, 12:02pm
Volkswagen is presenting the first drivable prototype of the Polo R WRC that will be used to launch the testing programme this year in preparation for the FIA World Rally Championship.
In 2013 Volkswagen will start to contest the top rally racing category, thus setting new aims for the brand after three consecutive victories at the Dakar Rally. The new Polo was unveiled in Frankfurt on Monday evening to an audience of about 2,000 international media representatives and will be showcased on the Volkswagen stand for the duration of the motor show.
“In February we started designing the vehicle concept for the Polo R WRC. Now we’re already in a position to present the first ready-to-run vehicle that will subsequently be used in extensive tests – an important step in our preparations for the WRC entry in 2013,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “I’m pleased about our team having managed to get this car off the ground in such a short time. And I’m very proud about the opportunity to present it to the public on the occasion of the IAA in Frankfurt.”
The Polo R WRC is based on the Volkswagen Polo that is successfully sold around the world. Its centrepiece is a 1.6-litre TSI engine that uses direct injection and turbocharging and delivers a power output of about 300 HP and maximum torque of about 350 Newton metres. The new engine regulations that came into effect in 2011 thus perfectly fit the Volkswagen philosophy of clever downsizing for high efficiency with sporty performance.
Power is transmitted to the wheels by a sequential gearbox and four-wheel drive system. In addition, the weight-optimised Polo R WRC features a complex safety cage and, last but not least, an aerodynamically optimised outer shell.
The FIA World Rally Championship is the most diverse technological challenge in worldwide car racing. The concept design of a WRC vehicle has to consider various types of ground: gravel, scree, tarmac, ice, snow and mud of any description. In this season, for example, 13 World Rally Championship rounds on four different continents are on the calendar. Consequently, a World Rally Car has to function in extremely different climatic conditions – from the blazing heat of South America to the icy ride in Scandinavia.
Volkswagen is carefully preparing for the new sporting challenge with an extensive testing programme that includes WRC commitments with vehicles of the Group’s Škoda brand and the evaluation of young talents, among other things.
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