Another surprise unveil at the IAA 2011 in Frankfurt was the unveiling of the first drivable prototype of the Polo R WRC, Volkswagen’s 2013 World Rally Championship (WRC) contender. At first glance the latest version looks little different to the styling prototype which appeared in Sardinia back in May, but closer inspection reveals actual windows you can press you nose against and see into the car (which we’re sure many rally fanciers will do in Frankfurt), a slightly louder Volkswagen ‘R’ corporate-coloured livery, and a meaner front bumper, with a larger air intake in which to suck all that gravel and snow. It’s full of visual swagger, and not so much of the sensible stuff that Polo has partly built its reputation on. Powered by a 1.6-litre TSI engine developing around 298bhp mated to four-wheel drive, rumour has it that the first test outing of the car will be at the French round of the 2011 WRC on 2 October. The full Volkswagen Motorsport press release and more pictures follow.
IAA 2011 – Polo R WRC
2013 racing start in the World Rally Championship: Volkswagen Motorsport shows Polo R WRC at the IAA 2011
Wolfsburg / Frankfurt, September 2011
The abbreviation R at Volkswagen combines the properties of commanding handling performance and uncompromising powertrain agility with a maximum of safety. The R ennobles Volkswagen models as vehicles with superior dynamics, compelling performance data and sportiness, at a price that offers outstanding value for money. From 2013 on, Volkswagen will contest the World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC.
Four-cylinder turbo engine with direct injection and 300PS
The centrepiece of the Volkswagen Polo R WRC will be a 1.6-litre TSI engine with direct injection and turbo-charging that will achieve a power output of about 300PS and maximum torque of 350Nm. In accordance with the regulations the four-cylinder powerplant will have its air intake reduced by a 33-millimetre air restrictor at high engine speeds. The new WRC engine regulations introduced in 2011 thus fit the Volkswagen philosophy of clever downsizing for high efficiency while delivering sporty performance to a T.
To transmit the engine’s power to the wheels a sequential gearbox is planned. In addition, the Polo R WRC will naturally be fitted with a safety cage, four-wheel drive and, last but not least, an aerodynamically optimised exterior. According to the regulations the minimum dry weight will be 1200kg. In the World Rally Championship the technical concept of a world rally car has to be based on the body shell of a production vehicle. Substantial driving assistance systems are prohibited. The aim is to put a reasonable cap on development costs.
The new Polo R WRC was unveiled in Frankfurt on Monday evening to an audience of about 2000 international media representatives and will be showcased on the Volkswagen stand for the duration of the motor show (15-25 September 2011).
‘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 2011 in Frankfurt.’
The Polo R WRC is based on the Volkswagen Polo that is successfully sold around the world. 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 drivers.
[Source: Volkswagen Motorsport]