VOLKSWAGEN has given the first look into the exciting future of the FIA World Rally Championship, releasing a concept drawing of its 2017 Polo R World Rally Car.
New 2017 technical regulations will introduce the most dramatic changes in years, with cars likened to modern-day Group B machines by M-Sport principal Malcolm Wilson.
The front-running cars of Volkswagen, Hyundai, Citroen, M-Sport Ford and returning entrant Toyota will be lighter, more powerful, more aerodynamic and more dramatic-looking next year.
All five teams are understood to be well advanced on their plans, but Volkswagen is the first to suggest how its third-generation Polo R could look with its regulated wider wheel arches and bigger rear wing and front spoiler.
The three-time Manufacturer champion has been testing a number of components in a current chassis for the past eight months with the help of former world champion Marcus Grönholm. Current drivers Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala are expected to start trials soon with the 2017 development car.
‘‘The 2017 WRC regulations include many spectacular technical innovations for the World Rally Championship,’’ Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito said.
‘‘The World Rally Cars of the future will incorporate all the experience that teams have gained in recent years.
“They will be considerably more dynamic, whilst at the same time being safer.”
Along with aerodynamic changes, engine upgrades will boost power from 235 kiloWatts to around 280 kW. With minimum weight reduced by 25 kilograms to 1175 kg, cars will accelerate faster and have a higher top speed.
Electronic centre differentials for the all-wheel drive systems will improve traction.