25 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

New Polo GTI chosen as basis for 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup circuit racer

2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTI

On the same day the sixth-generation model is launched in South Africa, today the wraps have been taken off the latest racing Volkswagen Polo which will contest the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup. The first circuit racing version of the all-new Polo, the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup car is based on the GTI model, which will arrive in South Africa later this year.

‘Push to Pass’ system
Carrying the same ‘Beware the Confidence’ tagline as the standard car’s launch materials, the Engen Volkswagen Cup GTI has a 2.0-litre, 197bhp four-cylinder turbocharged engine which produces 251lb ft / 340Nm of torque at 1 bar of boost. There is also a new ‘Push to Pass’ system which releases another 23bhp for 10 seconds, similar to that seen on the 2012 Scirocco R-Cup cars.

In a difference to the intial batch of European road cars, the 2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTIs have a six-speed manual ‘MQ350’ gearbox, taken from the latest Golf GTI. Locally-sourced SAX shock absorbers sit suspend the standard Polo’s five-door body, while the car sits on coil springs front and rear, and rides on Dunlop semi-slick tyres.

2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTI

‘Most successful racing formula’
Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa said: ‘Volkswagen Motorsport would like to thank Engen for their on-going sponsorship and commitment to what we see as South Africa’s most successful racing formula as well as the competitors who have the confidence in the series to make the change to the all-new car.’

Those 24 competitors will contest a total of eight rounds in 2018, the 22nd year the Polo-based Engen Volkswagen Cup has been run. ‘We are very excited for the start of the 2018 racing season,’ continued Mike Rowe. ‘I am sure that all the Engen Volkswagen Cup competitors are raring to go.’

‘The series, which has become known as the School of Champions, is a special one in South Africa and has crowned a total of 16 different national champions. It also an immensely competitive one as only five people have managed to win it more than once,’ he added.

2018 Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo GTI

GTI badge debut
The closely-fought Engen Volkswagen Cup series is a one-make series where performance is kept equal to provide entertaining motor racing. Teams are only permitted to adjust the chassis set-up and tyre pressures, while the engine power is also limited. The 2018 season sees the ‘GTI’ badge make its debut on a South African Polo Cup racer in the series’ two-decade history.

The 2018 South African circuit racing season starts on 24 March, when a comprehensive field of more than 24 young Polo drivers aged 15 to 27 line up for the start of the 2018 Engen Polo Cup at the Kyalami race track in Johannesburg.

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