10 January 2014 ~ 0 Comments

2014 Polo R WRC – added dynacism under the bonnet and on the body

2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Spot the differences. They are there, honest. Volkswagen Motorsport has unveiled the 2014 Polo R WRC rally car and, somewhat suprisingly, there are changes to the livery, as well as under the bonnet.

The current reigning world champion has made detailed improvements to the 315bhp motorsport Polo, to defend its title for the coming season. New grey and blue stripes mark out the 2014 car, which although subtle, make a big difference. It looks somehow meaner as a result.

Volkswagen Motorsport claims the four-wheel drive Polo R WRC is ‘more dynamic than ever’, thanks to last-minute mechanical developments. The rally-winning Polo claimed 10 of 2013’s 13 rallies, ensuring all three World Champions’ titles headed to VW.

A whole host of detailed improvements ahead of the season’s opener – the Rally Monte Carlo from 14-19 January – ensure the car, which carries so many hopes, is fighting fit for the tough tests ahead.

After last season, the team played 10 ‘jokers’, which allowed it to alter individual components when compared to the homologation documents submitted previously. Besides optimising various chassis components and new set-up variants for the car’s drivetrain, the priority for the engineers was to improve the stability of the super-Polo.

Volkswagen Motorsport used one ‘joker’ to install a new software version for the on-board electronics. Reliability was a key Polo R WRC strength during 2013. Three cars were campaigned, and while none suffered engine damage, only an electrical connection was deemed a technical fault.

‘If you don’t go forwards in motorsport, you go backwards,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. ‘When it comes to technical development, you simply cannot afford to let up for a single second.

‘Although we won some laurels in 2013, we have certainly not rested on them. The manufacturers in the World Rally Championship agreed not to homologate any new World Rally Cars for the 2014 season. Despite this, we tried to take full advantage of the options still available to us.

‘Many detailed aspects of the 2014 Polo R WRC have been further developed since we made our debut twelve months ago. Every single member of the team cannot wait to find out where we stand compared to the strong competition we will face from Citroën and Ford, as well as our new opposition at Hyundai.’

Ahead of Rally Monte Carlo, the FIA has announced changes for the 2014 World Rally Championship. The previous qualifying procedure at gravel rallies is omitted. Instead, the starting order will be based on the current World Championship standings.

Detailed amendments have also been made to the rules allowing competitors to return under Rally 2 regulations. The itineraries for the rounds of the World Rally Championship will be standardised, too, with all rallies beginning with the start ceremony on Thursday and end with Sunday’s final stage.

The final special stage will always form the ‘Power Stage’, in which bonus points are up for grabs in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship for the first three cars through.

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