09 December 2012 ~ 3 Comments

Full details: 2013 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Monaco

2013 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

At last! Volkswagen Motorsport officially unveiled its 2013 World Rally Championship Polo R WRC competition car and driver line-up at a showy launch in Monaco last night. In front of the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia drove the 315bhp, four-wheel drive Polo R WRC over a symbolic starting ramp, formally launching Volkswagen Motorsport’s 2013 WRC campaign after 17 months of rigourous and non-stop testing. And, as expected, the Polo R WRC is an impressive-looking beast – there’s no doubting both its and Volkswagen Motorsport’s intentions.

Looking broadly similar yet more aggressive than the concept car unveiled in May 2011, the 2013 Polo R WRC gets squarer wheel arches, meaner-styled bumpers and a proper rally car roof scoop. Power comes from a 1.6-litre TSI engine, developing 315bhp, sent to all four wheels. With a weight of 1200kg, the car will accelerate to 62mph from rest in 3.9 seconds, while gears are changed via a six-speed sequential ‘box. Wheels are 8 x 18” in tarmac spec and 7 x 15” on gravel, while braking is dealt with by 355mm and 300mm ventilated discs on tarmac and gravel surfaces respectively.

Two of the Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC crews were already known. French duo Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have been campaigning Škoda Fabia S2000s in the WRC this year, while Jari-Matti Latvala and Miika Anttila were announced a few weeks ago. Both pairings have seven WRC wins to their name. From the fourth round of the 2013 championship, a third car driven by Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Andreas Mikkelsen will also run, co-driven by Mikko Markkula. Volkswagen Polo R WRC partners include Red Bull, Castrol and Michelin.

‘The launch of the Polo R WRC, which is now ready and raring to go, heralds a new era in motorsport for Volkswagen. The FIA World Rally Championship offers Volkswagen the opportunity to prove its sporty qualities in an environment, in which our cars have always been at home: on real streets,’ said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management responsible for development. ‘In doing so, we are not using extraordinary prototypes, but a Polo based on the standard production car. This proximity to the product and customer played an important role in our decision to commit to this form of global motorsport.’

‘Volkswagen has prepared intensively for the World Rally Championship, and every single member of the team can hardly wait to finally get stuck into the competition with the Polo R WRC,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. ‘The World Rally Championship is a new challenge for us, and one that we are confronting with a host of good ideas and a strong team. Whether Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen or the team in the background, we have first-class personnel on board. Seventeen months of intensive development, testing and a lot of innovation have gone into the Polo R WRC. For what it’s worth, the Polo R WRC is also, in my eyes, a beautiful and spectacular rally car.’


Type: Straight-four engine with turbocharger and intercooling, transversally mounted in front of the front axle
Displacement: 1600 cc
Power output: 232kW/315bhp at 6250rpm
Torque: 425Nm (313lb ft) at 5000rpm
Air restrictor: 33mm (FIA regulation)
Engine control unit: Bosch

Gearbox: Sequential, six-speed racing gear box, transversally mounted
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

Front/rear: McPherson struts, dampers from ZF
Suspension travel: approximately 180mm on tarmac, approximately 275mm on gravel
Steering: Servo-assisted rack and pinion steering
Braking system: Ventilated disc brakes (front Ø 355mm on tarmac; front and rear Ø 300mm on gravel) aluminium brake callipers (four calipers, front and rear)
Wheels: Size 8 x 18-inch for tarmac, 7 x 15-inch for gravel
Tyres: Michelin competition tyres

Build: FIA-conformant reinforced steel body

Length/width/height: 3976/1820/1356mm
Track width: 1610mm
Wheelbase: 2480mm
Minimum weight: 1200kg

Acceleration: 0–100km/h (62mph) in 3.9 seconds
Top speed: Up to 200km/h (124mph) (depending on gear ratio)

The 2013 Polo R WRC competition car will have its competitive debut on the Rallye Monte Carlo which starts on 15 January. We can’t wait for this exciting new chapter in the Polo’s competition career.

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