Monday, May 9, 2011

VW’s Rally Racer Is So Cute, So Mean

VW’s Rally Racer Is So Cute, So Mean: "

Volkswagen is returning to rallying with a pocket rocket that’s cuter than a puppy and meaner than a rabid mutt.

The German’s won’t compete in the World Rally Championship until 2013, but that didn’t keep them from unveiling a racing concept based on the Polo, a sweet subcompact VW won’t sell in the United States, dammit.

Given that the racer is still two years from competing, VW offered only the broadest description of what we’ll see in the Polo R WRC: an all-wheel-driver racer with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder putting down nearly 300 horsepower.

“Today is a great day for the WRC,” double world champion Carlos Sainz said, according to “Tomorrow it’s Mini starting out in the WRC and today we have this big news from Volkswagen. This is one of the steps towards getting back to the really strong days of the WRC. VW has grown to become one of the strongest companies in the world and that this company has decided to come to the WRC is magnificent.”

VW campaigned rally cars through the 1980s and says new WRC rules limiting engine displacement to 1.6 liters and allowing turbochargers and direct injection encouraged its return.

“The new technical regulations of the World Rally Championship are an ideal fit for Volkswagen’s philosophy with respect to the development of production vehicles,” Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, who oversees development for VW, said in a statement. “Downsizing, high efficiency and reliability are top priorities for our customers. The timing of the WRC debut is optimal for Volkswagen.”

The company’s announcement that it is returning to the WRC follows its third consecutive victory at the grueling Dakar Rally.

Photos: Volkswagen


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