VW Polo WRC, A Winning Hot Hatch


Published on May 31st, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


VW Polo WRC, A Winning Hot Hatch

volkswagen polo r_wrc_2

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.

volkswagen polo r_wrc_1

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.

volkswagen polo r_wrc_9

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.

volkswagen polo r_wrc_8

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.

volkswagen polo r_wrc_7

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.

volkswagen polo r_wrc_6

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.

volkswagen polo r_wrc_4

TypeStraight-four engine with turbocharger and intercooling, transversally mounted in front of the front axle
Displacement1,600 cc
Power output315 hp at 6,250 rpm
Torque425 Nm at 5,000 rpm
Bore / stroke83,0 mm / 73,8 mm
Air restrictor33 mm (FIA regulation)
Engine control unitBosch
GearboxSequential, six-speed racing gear box, transversally mounted
Gearbox Final drivePermanent four-wheel drive with fixed drive between the front and rear axles, multi-plate limited-slip differentials, front and rear
ClutchHydraulically actuated double-disk sintered metal clutch from ZF

volkswagen polo r_wrc_3

Front/rearMcPherson struts, dampers from ZF
Suspension travelapprox. 180 mm on tarmac, approx. 275 mm on gravel
SteeringServo-assisted rack and pinion steering
Braking systemVentilated disc brakes (front diameter 355 mm on tarmac
WheelsSize 8 x 18 inch for tarmac, 7 x 15 inch for gravel
TyresMichelin competition tyres
BuildFIA-conformant reinforced steel body

Goodyear f1 650x85(DSF)

Dimensions and weight 
Length / width / height3,976 / 1,820 / 1,356 mm
Track width1,610 mm
Wheelbase2,480 mm
Minimum weight1,200 kg
Acceleration0–100 km/h in approx. 3.9 seconds
Top speedUp to approx. 200 km/h (depending on gear ratio)

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