Reports of a future production version of the Volkswagen Polo R WRC car have started to emerge after the carmaker announced it would enter the World Rally Championship in 2013. According to a VW board member quoted by Autocar, the company is working on a hardcore performance version of the Polo to back up its WRC entry.
Before the WRC announcement, Volkswagen had denied rumors of developing a Polo R, explaining that a very expensive small hot-hatch wouldn't be profitable. However, the rally car revealed in the beginning of May featured the R nameplate and had lots of R branding on the bodywork.
VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg told Autocar that the WRC involvement would make a Polo GTI-topping model “more likely”. “You can see how the World Rally Championship program would increase the probability of an R version of the base model,” said Hackenberg, who added that the launch of the Polo R should coincide with the start rally program in 2013.
The car would probably use a more powerful version of the 1.4-liter turbocharged and supercharged engine used by the Polo GTI. Output will most likely be over 200 horsepower, as in the Polo GTI the four-cylinder unit delivers 180 horsepower. It is unclear, however, if the Polo R would adopt a four-wheel drive system as Audi's future S1 model, built on the same platform.
By Dan Mihalascu