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15 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ready to rally! Volkswagen Motorsport unwraps second-generation Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

Ahead of the 2015 Monte Carlo Rally next week, Volkswagen Motorsport pulled the covers off the second-generation Polo R WRC today in Wolfsburg. The car will contest the 2015 World Rally Championship. While full technical details will be released next week, the new 318bhp Polo R WRC has a paddle-operated hydraulically activated gearbox among its technological highlights.

The most striking difference between VW’s new rally weapon and the 2014 car is the external livery. Still keeping the blue and white colours of Volkswagen Motorsport, the new Polo R WRC’s livery also centres on its sponsors.

The dark blue of Red Bull dominates the front end, while paler blue bars fade into a white rear end, visually referencing the outgoing car. A new larger rear wing dominates the area above the rear window. Mysteriously, there are no ‘R’ badges on the car at all.

Volkswagen Motorsport states that around 75 per cent of the components used in the 2014 Polo R WRC have been further optimised for the new car, with the aim of making everything ‘simpler, lighter, and stronger’.

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg: Ogier/Ingrassia

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg: Ogier/Ingrassia

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg: Latvala/Anttila

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg: Latvala/Anttila

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg: Mikkelsen/Fløene

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg: Mikkelsen/Fløene

Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development Dr Heinz-Jakob Neußer said: ‘The new Polo R WRC has undergone intense further development, both on the inside and the outside. Not only does it look even more dynamic and sporty than it did before, but our engineers have also been working meticulously on technical innovations under the bonnet.

‘We have improved many detailed aspects of the package that has been so successful for the past two years. The focus of this further development was on efficiency, reliability and performance.’

World rally champion Sébastien Ogier was excited with his new steed: ‘I am very optimistic that the new car will get off to just as good a start as its predecessor. We have done a lot of testing and we drivers have worked very closely with the engineers. We put a lot of effort into developing the new shift paddle, which represents real progress.’

Volkswagen number two driver Jari-Matti Latvala was equally revved up: ‘The new car feels really good, and we are ready for the new season – at last. We will be using the shift paddle on the steering wheel to change gear this year, and I really like it. On the whole, the new Polo is faster and even better than the 2014 car.’

Ogier and Latvala will line up at the start in Monte Carlo with the new-for-2015 car, while VW’s number three driver Andreas Mikkelsen will field the new and improved Polo R WRC from Rally Portugal, the fourth round of the 2015 World Rally Championship.

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22 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 2001 Polo GTI – report eleven

Rich Gooding updates the story of his 2001 Polo GTI, which, used almost daily, has seen a fair of share activity since the last report almost eighteen months ago…

Hot Hatch Sunday at Goodwood meant an early start

This report almost got broken down in several updates, it’s been so long since I reported on Y464 GHJ, my 2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI that I’ve owned since September 2011. The last report highlighted how fun the car was at the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Big Day Out at Rockingham Motor Speedway in the summer of 2013. So just what has happened in the intervening 18 months?

The car’s annual service was due last March and, at 99,963 miles, it was taken into the ever-dependable Sani’s Motors (01245 460040) in Chelmsford. Y464 only needed an interim tune-up, so all the usual procedures were carried out, with the addition of a new pollen filter and new front brake discs and pads. The only minor problem reported was a leaking offside headlight washer pipe.

Losing power
Nothing major then, and I thought the car left the garage fully fit and feeling better after its fettling. That was a mistake. That very same month, on the way to work, warning lights started appearing on the dash, and the car showed signs of losing power. The battery had been replaced a few months earlier, so my thoughts turned to the alternator. Or lack of it, as the car slowed to a halt a few moments later and resolutely refused to start.

Thankfully, I had decided to take a non-busy backroad route in case the inevitable happened, and so found myself just outside a waste management site with an hour’s wait for the RAC. The technician’s battery check proved that it was indeed OK, and that the alternator was the cause of the problem.

A quick call to work, and I was then on my way back to Sani’s with the RAC van following behind, in case the ‘borrowed’ charge petered out. With just two weeks separating its visits, Y464 was back at the Essex VW specialists having a new alternator, auxiliary belt and oil filter fitted. Another £218.51. In-between its visits, the car’s mileage had just toppled over 100,000.

Early summer saw me fit a genuine set of 6N2 Polo GTI front mudflaps. I’d managed to track down a pair on eBay, and although used, they were in good condition even if they didn’t come with new self-tapping screws. 6N2 GTI front mudflaps have mouldings which take into account the model’s deeper sills, and wraparound them snugly.

> Read More

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18 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Indian-only Volkswagen Polo R-Cup series makes way for Vento Cup in 2015

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

While Volkswagen Motorsport in Germany was taking the covers of the 2015 Polo R WRC rally car on Thursday 15 January, Volkswagen Motorsport India was unwrapping the Volkswagen Vento Cup race car. The new Polo Sedan-based racer will star in the 2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup, a new one-make series which will replace the Volkswagen Polo R-Cup India which enjoyed its first season in 2010.

The unveiling in Pune saw the debut appearance of the Vento Cup racing car, based on the standard production car made at Volkswagen India’s Chakan factory. Rather than the road-going car’s 103bhp petrol or diesel engines, the Volkswagen Vento Cup cars will be powered by the 180bhp 1.4-litre TSI engines from the previous Polo R-Cup cars.

The Vento Cup machine has a dry weight of 1,225kg, an increase of 30kg over the previous Polo racer. A six-speed DSG gearbox sends the power to the front wheels, while compulsory FIA safety equipment includes a roll cage, a racing seat with six-point harness and a fire extinguisher.

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup race car

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

2015 Vento Cup launched

2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup launched

The 2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup championship will run, as did the Polo series, in partnership with JK Tyre Motorsport. Registration is open now, and drivers will be placed in Junior, Pro and Masters classes. Entry fees start at Rs 8 lakhs for the Junior class, Rs 12 lakhs for Pro classifications, while the Masters drivers will pay up to Rs 14 lakhs for a seat.

Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, Sirish Vissa said: ‘The Polo R-Cup car was more of a go-kart. This new car will require drivers to be more wary of the weight at the rear of the car but will also allow them to use the increased oversteer to get the car to turn in faster, too.’

Rayo Racing will aid driver selection, which will be completed by a series of karting heats. A pre-season training camp will then take place. The 2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup series will start in June. Interested drivers can register at www.volkswagen-motorsport.in.

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17 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

New petrol-powered 1.2-litre Cross Polo for India; from Rs 6.94 lakhs

2015 Volkswagen Cross Polo (India)

Volkswagen India launched a petrol version of the SUV-styled Cross Polo this week, powered by the standard Polo’s 1.2-litre MPI engine. The 74bhp unit develops 110Nm of torque (81lb ft) at 3,750rpm. Price is Rs 6.94 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Previously, the Indian variant of the Cross Polo was only available with a 1.5-litre 89bhp TDI engine.

As with the TDI version, the MPI’s equipment count is high. Standard Cross Polo features include 165mm of ground clearance, alloy wheels with 185/60 R15 tyres and tough-looking body styling including roof rails, rugged front and rear bumpers, door cladding, and skidplates front and rear.

Standard kit includes ‘Climatronic’ automatic air-conditioning, speed-sensitive electronic power steering, multifunction steering wheel, remote control central locking, electric windows, CD/MP3 with USB/Aux-in/SD card input and 4 speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, as well as a monochrome multifunction display.

Among the Cross Polo’s Indian competitors are the Toyota Etios Cross and the Fiat Avventura. Order books for the new MPI version are open now.

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09 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Uprated Polo GT and new Polo GTI under consideration for India

2015 Volkswagen Polo GT (India)

Volkswagen is reported to be considering importing hotter Polos for sale in India. The Indian arm of the German company currently sells the Polo GT TSI and GT TDI with 104bhp petrol and diesel engines respectively. The Polo GT TSI has 175Nm of torque, with the GT TDI boasting 250Nm.

Autocar India reports that VW could choose either the 1.4-litre 148bhp TSI engine from the European BlueGT model to power an uprated GT variant, or import the new-for-2015 Polo GTI, more or less as it is. The latter model sprints to 62mph from rest in 6.7 seconds thanks to its 1.8-litre TSI engine.

The magazine states that both proposed engines have been homologated for sale in India, but that they will more than likely be expensive. It cites a price of Rs 17 lakh for the GTI, even if part-assembled locally, but points out that it would, in essence, be a brand builder for Volkswagen.

The current Polo GT has been met with a warm reception in India, much to Volkswagen’s surprise. The Polo GT TSI features a seven-speed DSG gearbox, while the GT TDI model is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. Both models feature special equipment and were refreshed in line with the facelifted fifth-generation Polo late last year.

[Source: Autocar India]

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