As you probably know, Volkswagen has won the both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ 2013 World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC, which means it has to mark the event somehow.
Rally fans who are also VW customers need to feel some sort of connection between the VW Polo R WRC rally car and the road-going Polo, besides its styling. Partly because of that but mostly for homologation reasons, Volkswagen launched the limited edition Polo R WRC last year, but there’s not much WRC about that car except the decals.
Sure, it’s a 217hp (220PS) Polo, but it’s only front-wheel-drive – not to mention that the rally car has around 311hp.
To fix that, VW is currently testing a very different Polo R, one that is more closely related to its rally cousin. Auto Bild has taken one of the two existing prototypes for a drive and revealed that the Polo R prototype is four-wheel-drive and sources its power from a 247hp (250PS) 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine.
The German journalists’ impressions were very positive: they reckoned the mighty Polo R prototype reaches 100 km/h from a standstill in well under 6 seconds (the FWD model does it in 6.4 s) and has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
The real question is whether VW will decide to bring the car into series production, since an AWD 247hp VW Polo R would likely make life pretty hard for the upcoming Audi S1.
If the all-wheel-drive Polo R WRC becomes a reality, it should cost considerably more than its FWD sibling, which is priced from €33,900 ($46,375) in Germany.
By Dan Mihalascu