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.
In terms of visuals, it is clear to see that the Volkswagen Polo was developed using the principles of the new Volkswagen “Design DNA”. In 2008, the Scirocco (first of this pedigree) took its place as one of the world’s best cars. Now, the same quality and value is retained by this coupe and is more consistent than any other car in Germany. Another model with the new DNA debuted also in 2008 in the form of the new Volkswagen Golf and Golf Plus.
The Golf and its high-roofed counterpart have since taken the number one spot amongst the most bought cars according to car registration statistics. Now, the third model – the Polo – with the new Volkswagen Design DNA is coming for that most coveted top spot again.
Before implementing this design philosophy, various preconditioning strategies (applied with great precision and clarity) are utilized for progressive and highly innovative development and production methods. Because of this, Volkswagen designers, development engineers and production experts must work in close interaction with each other.
Of course, the main goal is to produce high quality technical and visual features at par with cars several classes higher than what is usual. The close alliance between these developers led by Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn was a great success for the past two years. Experts such as Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann (Member of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Group; Production), Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (Member of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Brand; Development) and Walter de Silva (Head of Group Design) brainstorm and combine their creative juices to be able to produce quality vehicles such as the new Volkswagen Polo.
The mature overall look of the Volkswagen Polo that’s different from the usual cars in the so-called A0 or supermini class (which are usually described as ‘cute’) is the result of the new design DNA that was defined by Walter de Silva.