Limited-edition version of Volkswagen's small hatch is the fastest Polo ever, capable of 151mph and covering 0-62mph in 6.4sec
Matt Burt
9 December 2012

Volkswagen has revealed the production version of its fastest-ever Polo – the 151mph, 217bhp Volkswagen Polo R WRC.

It has been built to tie-in with Volkswagen’s entry into the 2013 World Rally Championship, and the Polo R WRC was officially unveiled at the launch of the rally team in Monte Carlo.

The Volkswagen Polo R WRC was previewed by the Polo WRC Street concept shown at the VW Group-organised GTI Treffen event in Worthersee, Austria, in May.

The high-performance, front-wheel drive hatch has hardly been changed from that concept to production. Based on the fifth-generation Polo platform, under the bonnet is the turbocharged 2.0 TSI four-pot petrol engine found in the Golf GTI. In this hottest-ever Volkswagen Polo, the powerplant produces 217bhp at 4500-6300rpm and 258lb ft of torque between 2500-4400rpm.

The car has a kerb weight of 1324kg (according to EC measurements, that figure includes a driver weighing 68kg, 7kg of luggage and a 90 per cent full fuel tank) although Volkswagen’s development boss Ulrich Hackenberg – who has driven the car during hot weather testing in South America – said that the Polo R WRC made use of some rally-inspired lightweight materials.

Stressing the link between the road and rally Polos, Hackenberg also confirmed that the Polo R WRC was built to assist with the homologation of the rally machine. The design of the competition Polo must follow the road car version in key areas.

Equipped with a short-shift six-speed manual gearbox, the Polo R WRC can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.4sec, and hit a top speed of 151mph.

The performance of the Polo R WRC should surpass that of its hot supermini rivals, such as the forthcoming Ford Fiesta ST and the class-leading Renaultsport Clio.

The Polo R WRC also has a rally-inspired lower front spoiler with large air inlets, a spoiler on the rear edge of the roof and a rear diffuser, although there's no word on whether the latter adds a significant aerodynamic benefit.

The three-door-only Polo rides on 18in alloys and 215/35 R 18 rubber, and is fitted with uprated disc brakes. The motorsport-inspired interior features WRC-badge seat covers, an Alcantara steering wheel, black roof liner and racing-style pedals.

The exterior gets ‘WRC’ badging on the rear and ‘R’ logos front and rear, while the white and blue/grey livery ties in with the Polo WRC competition car.

Claimed fuel consumption is 38mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions are put at 174g/km.

Just 2500 examples of the Polo R WRC will be built, and the car will only be available in left-hand drive. Advance orders will start on 11 December, with deliveries scheduled to start in September 2013.

The car will cost €33,900. Volkswagen UK hasn’t decided whether it will officially import a limited number of cars, although it is assessing potential interest.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Polo

The fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo has junior Golf looks, but is that enough?

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9 December 2012

I'm a little bit underwhelmed by this, despite being somewhat of a Polo fan.

The weight is the biggest problem; based on Autocar's own figures, the Polo R weighs slightly more than the Mk6 Golf GTI. For what is meant to be a WRC-inspired special it's a little bit on the chubby side.

Hopefully it'll turn out to be one of those cars where the official performance stats are conservative.

9 December 2012

Wheres the Roll Cage ? At least 1/2 a cage, would look good.


9 December 2012

I dont have a lot of time for VW products, but this seems to be an exception. I dont know why its restricted to so few units, or just LHD, at £25k ish, its not awful value for the performance, and quite good value when you factor in the low numbers to be made.

Its probably just fast enough to be fully exploitable on the road (in the right places), yet sensible enough to useable the rest of the time. If only VW would do more like this.


9 December 2012

If I were to spend on a VW hot hatch, my money would go on Golf. It's bigger, faster, lighter, more economic, etc. VW's treatment of Polo as Golf's step sister continues, especially if you consider entry level Polos are dirtier than Golfs and extremely underpowered except for those who are content to drive in truck lanes.

10 December 2012

fadyady wrote:

If I were to spend on a VW hot hatch, my money would go on Golf. It's bigger, faster, lighter, more economic, etc. VW's treatment of Polo as Golf's step sister continues, especially if you consider entry level Polos are dirtier than Golfs and extremely underpowered except for those who are content to drive in truck lanes.

Having spent some considerable time poring over the Polo and the mark VI Golf I have to agree. There seems to be a massive jump in interior quality and comfort with the Golf: I find the Polo rather 'skimpy' somehow, and the choice of decent engines is restricted. I had hoped that they would have made the tsi engine more available throughout the Polo range (as it is in the Fabia and Ibiza ranges) but they haven't. Even the dealers don't seem to speak very fondly of the Polo.

10 December 2012

... must be choking back the bile and be absolutely furious that the DSG Box woouldn't fit and they had to use a good old fashioned manual!  That alone makes me happy!

Now...  same car please, but simply with a 140hp Twin Charge engine - I don't need to do 150mph.

10 December 2012

Did they style this on a friday afternoon? or just not bother at all? *underwhelmed*

10 December 2012

I applaud the fact VW have capitalised on their motorsport connections and produced this car but to make it an expensive limited run model seems a little greedy.  Ultimately it is little more than a parts bin special.

All the right ingredients are there, punchy engine, six speed gearbox and subtle body mods, this should feature in the price lists (all be it circa £22,000) permanently.



It's all about the twisties........

10 December 2012

I take it those are 22" rims on the car then because there's plenty of space around those "16" discs"??!

10 December 2012

Simonali - just rechecked the spec on Volkswagen's new motorsport website and it definitely says 18in wheels and 16in discs, although the pictures bear no relation to that. We'll do some more digging...


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