Volkswagen Motorsport is providing us with the first glimpse of its next generation Polo R WRC that is set to compete at the upcoming season FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
More powerful, faster, and more spectacular, the next-gen Polo R WRC will generate about 380hp in the future, which is roughly 60hp more than the current car (318hp).
Volkswagen has been developing the third generation of the Polo R WRC since mid-2015, when the International Automobile Federation (FIA) released the new regulations for 2017 season. Having already successfully tested key components in the current chassis, development of Volkswagen’s third World Rally Car now enters the crucial phase.
‘‘The 2017 WRC regulations include many spectacular technical innovations for the World Rally Championship,’’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. ‘‘The World Rally Cars of the future will incorporate all the experience that teams have gained in recent years. They will be considerably more dynamic, whilst at the same time being safer. As usual, we are working painstakingly on the development of the next generation of the Polo R WRC. The key between now and the start of next season is to achieve the best possible prerequisites to allow the 2017 Polo R WRC to be as successful as its two predecessors.”
The 2017 rally Polo is expected to be about 50 millimetres wider, 25 kilograms lighter, and roughly 380hp powerful. The increase in performance of about 60hp is achieved by widening the air restrictor from 33 millimetres, as it is at present, to 36 millimetres. Furthermore, electronic centre differential can now be used for the power transmission. The most visually striking changes are the larger rear wing and broader front spoiler. The minimum length of the car is now 3,900 millimetres, whilst the minimum weight is reduced from 1,200 to 1,175 kilograms.
Although the new technical components have already been applied in numerous tests, the appearance of the Polo R WRC will still change significantly by the start of the season at the Rally Monte Carlo in January 2017.
Whilst the final phase of development of the Polo R WRC is already underway, Volkswagen currently tops the standings in all of the classifications in this year’s world championship, having won the first three rallies of the season. The team from Wolfsburg’s next outing is the fourth WRC round of the year at the Rally Argentina in 21-24 April 2016.