Published on May 31st, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
VW Polo WRC, A Winning Hot Hatch
Volkswagen plays a leading role with small-volume, turbocharged and thus highly efficient engines. 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.
Since 2013, Volkswagen has been contesting the World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC with amazing success with wins after win right up to the recent Argentinean rally where it was nothing less than Volkswagen’s greatest single victory in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
In extremely difficult external conditions, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) celebrated a hard-fought one-two victory in the Polo R WRC at the Rally Argentina. Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) completed the German factory team’s triumph by claiming fourth place. Crowds of enthusiastic fans lined the route of SS 14, holding their breath as Latvala and Ogier repeatedly fought it out to win the fifth round of the season.
Mikkelsen also helped to make the event a resounding success for Volkswagen by doggedly working his way up the leader board. Taking first and second place further extends Volkswagen’s lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Following the Rally Argentina, the three Volkswagen duos are now also at the top of the table in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championship. The event marked Jari-Matti Latvala’s tenth win in the World Rally Championship and his third in Volkswagen’s colours.
This four wheel-drive powerhouse won ten of the 13 rallies in 2013, ensuring all three World Championship titles headed to Wolfsburg.
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 6-speed gearbox is used. In addition, the Polo R WRC is 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.
|Type||Straight-four engine with turbocharger and intercooling, transversally mounted in front of the front axle|
|Power output||315 hp at 6,250 rpm|
|Torque||425 Nm at 5,000 rpm|
|Bore / stroke||83,0 mm / 73,8 mm|
|Air restrictor||33 mm (FIA regulation)|
|Engine control unit||Bosch|
|Gearbox||Sequential, six-speed racing gear box, transversally mounted|
|Gearbox Final drive||Permanent four-wheel drive with fixed drive between the front and rear axles, multi-plate limited-slip differentials, front and rear|
|Clutch||Hydraulically actuated double-disk sintered metal clutch from ZF|
|Front/rear||McPherson struts, dampers from ZF|
|Suspension travel||approx. 180 mm on tarmac, approx. 275 mm on gravel|
|Steering||Servo-assisted rack and pinion steering|
|Braking system||Ventilated disc brakes (front diameter 355 mm on tarmac|
|Wheels||Size 8 x 18 inch for tarmac, 7 x 15 inch for gravel|
|Tyres||Michelin competition tyres|
|Build||FIA-conformant reinforced steel body|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Length / width / height||3,976 / 1,820 / 1,356 mm|
|Track width||1,610 mm|
|Minimum weight||1,200 kg|
|Acceleration||0–100 km/h in approx. 3.9 seconds|
|Top speed||Up to approx. 200 km/h (depending on gear ratio)|