11 October 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Polo R WRC to sire 2012 Polo S2000; South African rally car to debut next year

The Polo R WRC is being shown at the Johannesburg International Motor Show – which runs from 6-16 October – by Volkswagen South Africa, which is celebrating its 60th birthday in 2011. The 2013 rally challenger being displayed at the Johannesburg Expo Centre event is the styling mock-up, unveiled by Volkswagen Motorsport on the eve of the Rally d’Italia Sardegna back in May. And, excitingly, it has been revealed that the new Polo S2000 rally car will debut in 2012, and will share most of its visual cues with the Polo R WRC. From 2013, Volkswagen will contest the World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC.

‘The new technical regulations of the World Rally Championship (WRC) perfectly suits Volkswagen’s philosophy with respect to the development of production vehicles,’ said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Management Board of the Volkswagen Brand, Development Division. The new set of rules determines 1.6-litre turbo engines with direct injection. This is in line with Volkswagen’s strategy of downsizing engines – a philosophy that has been pioneered with small-volume, turbocharged but highly efficient powertrains. ‘The timing of the WRC debut is ideal for Volkswagen. The task of engineering a vehicle that is competitive and capable of winning at a large number of challenges holds great appeal,’ Dr Hackenberg continued.

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 220kW (295bhp) with a maximum torque of 350Nm (258lb ft). In accordance with the regulations, the four-cylinder powerplant will have its air intake reduced by a 33-millimetre air restrictor. To transmit the engine’s power to the wheels a sequential gearbox is planned, but substantial driving assistance systems are prohibited by WRC rules. The aim is to reasonably cap development costs.

The Polo R WRC will be fitted with a safety cage, four-wheel drive and 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. At Volkswagen, ‘R’ is associated with models with superior dynamics, compelling performance data and sportiness. The entire ‘R’ model package is offered at outstanding value for money. Other new VWs being displayed in Johannesburg include the eco BlueMotion range, which has a Polo-based variant.

[Source: Volkswagen South Africa]

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