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Archive for October, 2014

Volkswagen Motorsport WRC Polo R Rally Car

Volkswagen Motorsport WRC Polo R Rally Car

The world of motorsports has officially declared a burgeoning dynasty, as Volkswagen Motorsport dominated the 2014 World Rally Championships for the second straight year. The excitement was tactile this week at Chapman Volkswagen, as the VW drivers attempted to make their mark in WRV history.

The World Rally Championships (WRC) is an international rally racing series administered by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). FIA is the governing body for most major international motorsports, including the Formula One series. The vehicles that participate in the WRC series are based on standard road car models, retrofitted to successfully navigate extreme weather and road conditions. 2014 events were held in such exotic locations as Monte Carlo, Sweden, and Mexico. A total of 13 three-day rallies are broken into approximately 15 to 25 stages, ranging between 1 and 30 miles each. An average day of WRC drivng is a grueling 250 miles. Road surfaces include concrete, asphalt, and gravel, and events are run in rain, snow, ice or whatever Mother Nature wants to throw down.

Volkswagen, after spending almost 18 months in its original WRC program development, debuted its first two Polo R WRC rally cars at the inaugural race of the 2013 season. Although VW didn’t win in its initial outing, it did win the second event of 2013, and 9 more throughout the season. The WRC effort is spearheaded by Volkswagen Motorsport, and originally featured professional drivers Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala. Ogier and Latvala were joined by Andreas Mikkelsen later in the 2013 series and Mikkelsen manned a full-time ride in 2014. In the 2013 series, Ogier won the driver’s championship while Volkswagen dominated the manufacturer’s championship category.

2014 found the VW teams again dominating race after race. The penultimate race in the 2014 WRC series took place in Spain on October 23-26, 2014. With one race still left in the season, Volkswagen Motorsport has already sealed their victory in dominating fashion. VW again won the manufacturer’s championship and the team’s drivers will stand alone on the podium. Ogier repeated his driver’s championship showing, with Latvala taking second place in driver points and Mikkelsen third.

Volkswagen Motorsport continues to field the Polo R WRC cars for all drivers. The race-ready vehicle starts with the Volkswagen Polo MK-5 base model. The standard chassis is reinforced with a welded, multi-point roll cage and any expendable brackets, mounting plates, etc. are removed to lighten the vehicle’s weight. Once the stock model is stripped down, approximately 700 hours of work go into the reinforced chassis alone. The engine is a bespoke Volkswagen 1.6 litre, 98 cu in, straight-four, turbocharged with an anti-lag system and a 33 mm (1.3 in) air restrictor. The transmission is also bespoke, using a Volkswagen 6-speed sequential manual transmission that is transversally mounted with front and rear multi-plate limited-slip differential. The Polo R WRC cars run a customized, controlled fuel blend specified by FIA.

A second generation of Polo R WRC competition car has been in development throughout 2014, and is expected to make its debut in 2015. Next year’s WRC series will be its 43rd season, opening on January 25, 2015, in Monte Carlo. With 10 overall rally wins in 2013 and 11 in 2014, Volkswagen Motorsport will definitely be seeking a “three-peat” next year.

Although the supermini Polo is only sold in the overseas market,enthusiasts look forward to the time when this internationally popular model makes its way to the U.S. Meanwhile, much of this model’s technology is shared with the Golf GTI. If you would like to drive the Golf GTI or other models of Volkswagen in Scottsdale. visit the Chapman showroom to see what all the excitement is about.