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.
Thanks to the Technical Regulations that have been revised in 2011 the WRC offers optimum prerequisites for the fielding of the Polo. The new set of rules prescribes 1.6-litre turbo engines with direct injection, in line with the trend to downsize engines – a discipline in which Volkswagen has been a pioneer with small-volume, turbo charged, and thus highly efficient, powertrains. Combined with clever rules that also stand for cost efficiency, the World Rally Championship offers a very attractive stage for Volkswagen.
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 300 PS and a maximum torque of about 350 Newton metres. In accordance with the regulations the four-cylinder power-plant will have its air intake reduced by a 33-millimetre air restrictor at high engine speeds. The new 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 1,200 kilograms. 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.