Volkswagen previews WRC-bound 2017 Polo R

Volkswagen previews WRC-bound 2017 Polo R

Volkswagen has published a teaser sketch to preview the Polo R that will compete in the 2017 season of the World Rally Championship (WRC).

The next Polo R will look more muscular than the highly-successful current model because new WRC regulations allow automakers to install more aggressive body kits. The changes will include a deeper front bumper with a large air dam, flared fenders, and massive wing attached to the hatch. The new look will be complemented by a 2017-specific blue and white livery.

Keeping in line with the FIA’s newest regulations, Volkswagen has tuned the Polo R’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine to develop 380 horsepower — about 60 more than today’s race car — by increasing the size of the air restrictor from 34 to 36 millimeters. Electronically controlled center differentials are making a comeback next year, and the FIA has reduced the minimum weight of WRC cars to just 2,590 pounds.

Volkswagen explains the modifications will make the Polo more dynamic and safer. FIA officials quietly admit they hope that modifying the regulations to make cars lighter and more powerful will lure more spectators to WRC events.

The updated Volkswagen Polo R will make its WRC debut at next year’s edition of the Monte-Carlo Rally. It will race against similarly-modified versions of the DS 3, the Ford Fiesta, and the Hyundai i20, but it will also have to fend off competition from Toyota‘s new Yaris WRC.

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