To get an edge at the World Rally Championship, Volkswagen has prepared an extreme performance version of its Polo. VW confirmed the details just last week.
Previously, VW didn’t allow its performance division, R GmbH, to create an extreme version of its small hatchback because it would have a difficult time of making a business case for an incredibly fast small car that would be very expensive. The rally car mock-up that was shown off at the launch featured enormous amounts of R branding and has been given the label of ‘Polo R WRC’.
VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg told Autocar that the WRC campaign, which is based around the Polo and will begin in 2013, will mean that a variant beyond the current GTI is “more likely.”
He said that the World Rally Championship program would make an R version of the base model [Polo] more probable. With regards to the timeframe, Hackenberg said that it is “with the rally program, not before it.” He declined to give an exact date though.
This means that a Polo R is expected to start selling only in 2013 at the earliest. There will be car ready for testing for the rally program before the year ends; however, it will not make its competitive debut until 2013.
It’s likely that the hot Polo will use a further development of VW’s 1.4-litre, turbocharged and supercharged motor. VW said that it decided to join the series because the new WRC rules, based on smaller engines, have close links to production models.