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VW POLO R for WRC in 2013 - Web Exclusive

Volkswagen will enter the World Rally Championship from 2013 with the brawny Polo R WRC powered by a 300hp 1.6-liter TSI engine

May 5, 2011

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Answering the prayers of many VW enthusiasts around the world, Volkswagen AG in Gemany today announced it would be entering the World Rally Championship in 2013, and unveiled the brawny Polo R WRC concept as the car they will use for the assault.

Eurp 1106 02+vw polo r for wrc in 2013+side view.JPG Photo 2/4   |   VW POLO R for WRC in 2013 - Web Exclusive

For Kris Nissen, Director of Volkswagen Motorsport and his team, the World Rally Championship marks a new commitment. “We look forward to this new challenge and are working on this project with the same passion with which we won the Dakar Rally in the past three years,” he said.

After three consecutive victories at the Dakar Rally, Volkswagen has set itself new goals in global sport. With three car corporations currently involved in the championship – Ford, Citroen and Mini – and the global media coverage it brings, WRC offers VW an attractive, competitive environment for it to compete in.

By 2013, the Wolfsburg-based company will have developed a 300hp rally vehicle with a 1.6-liter TSI engine and four-wheel drive based on the Polo to comply with the FIA WRC regulations

Eurp 1106 02+vw polo r for wrc in 2013+front view.JPG Photo 3/4   |   VW POLO R for WRC in 2013 - Web Exclusive

The World Rally Championship offers the most diverse technological challenge in motorsport because of the various terrain they must tackle. This had to be considered during the design of the new WRC vehicle. The typical season features 13 WRC rounds on four different continents, so a world rally car has to function in extremely different climatic conditions, from the blazing heat of South America to the icy roads in Scandinavia.

Additionally, new rules came into effect this year requiring a maximum displacement of 1600cc, direct injection and turbochargers. “The new Technical Regulations of the World Rally Championship are an ideal fit for Volkswagen’s philosophy for the development of production vehicles,” said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg from Volkswagen.

In order to compete at the highest level, Volkswagen will prepare and enter the Polo R WRC as a factory team. In doing so, the Wolfsburg-based squad can build on structures that have been established over the past few years. “We can draw on an experienced and proven squad which has done an outstanding job in top-calibre sport in the past few years,” said Nissen. “Even though the WRC is new territory for us, and involves learning many areas, the team already meets some important prerequisites as it brings an unwavering professionalism and resolve to deliver perfection.”

Eurp 1106 02+vw polo r for wrc in 2013+cover.JPG Photo 4/4   |   VW POLO R for WRC in 2013 - Web Exclusive

VW’s history in top-flight rallying may not be familiar to most people, with the brand deferring to Audi and lately both Seat and Skoda at different levels of the sport. However, Wolfsburg has celebrated rally success in the mid ’80s. The most important was in 1986 when Swede Kenneth Eriksson and his co-driver Peter Diekmann claimed the newly conceived Group A world championship in a VW Golf GTI 16v. Additionally, VW has promoted young rally talent through the Golf Rally Cup.

Entering the Polo R WRC in 2013 is seen by VW as closing the loop, with today’s WRC vehicles based on the original Group A philosophy introduced in the 1980s, enabling rally cars to be built on production-based models. However, the latest WRC cars are far more specialized than the previous Group A regulations would have allowed, including the introduction of 4WD technology into a chassis that might otherwise not offer it.



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