The Volkswagen Polo R WRC boasts 217bhp and 258lb ft
Just 2500 examples will be built, all in left-hand drive
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 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.