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09 May 2011

Volkswagen tosses the Polo R into WRC

Words by Kevin Siy | Photos and video courtesy of Volkswagen AG
Wolfsburg, Germany - In front of 200 journalists, Volkswagen Management Board Member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg unveiled the Polo R WRC, announcing Volkswagen’s entry into the World Rally Championship (WRC) by 2013. For Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen, this move exemplifies Volkswagen’s commitment in traversing new horizons, new challenges.

Debris and Obstacles
The WRC surrounds itself with the worst extremes: varying climatic conditions, and different ground types that include mud, ice, and gravel. The Polo R WRC has to be built in a way that extends the frontiers of technology, precision, and ingenuity; so it could defy reliability as it conquers the blazing heat of South America and freezing conditions in Scandinavia.
New technical rules have also shaped this year’s WRC. The prescribed engine displacement for WRC cars are now downsized to 1600cc - direct injected, and turbocharged.

Volkswagen Optimism
According to Volkswagen, the new technical rule fits perfectly well into the Volkswagen philosophy with respect to the development of production vehicles. "Downsizing, high efficiency and reliability are top priorities for our customers. The timing of the WRC debut is optimal for Volkswagen. The big task of engineering a vehicle that is competitive and capable of winning at a large number of challenges holds great appeal for us," says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen, too, embraces optimism. The company’s bold foray into the 2013 World Rally Championship is a factory commitment. The Wolfsburg-based squad leans on building on the foundation of the tried and tested, on structures established over the past few years. It’s about time the ambitious group set their eyes on the World Rally Championship. They have won the Dakar for the past three years, perhaps, a dice on another division? 
"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 Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "Even though the WRC is new territory for us and involves learning in many areas the team already meets some important prerequisites now as it brings an unwavering professional attitude and resolve to deliver absolute perfection to this commitment."
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Volkswagen hopes for the best as it dashes in the new Polo R WRC, a car that has won the WRC once, in 1986. Speaking of beauty, the hot hatch has all the make-ups that attract. It is expected to carry a dynamite-load in its 1600cc turbocharged engine, a promising 300hp, on top of a four-wheel drive system likely based on Audi’s quattro masterpiece.