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Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2014)

(10/1/2013)  VOLKSWAGEN Motorsport will introduce a new look – and some under-bonnet improvements – for its winning Polo R WRC when it starts the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship at Rallye Monte-Carlo next Tuesday.

The 315 hp Polo R has been the subject of constant development since making its debut at Monte-Carlo a year ago.

The car that won 10 or 13 WRC events last season will face refreshed challenges from Citroen and Ford, plus the unknown quantity of the all-new Shell Hyundai team for which Australia’s Chris Atkinson will drive at selected rounds.

The new livery design features grey and blue stripes, while technically Volkswagen says it is the sum of numerous running developments.

“If you don’t go forwards in motorsport, you go backwards,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito.

“When it comes to technical development, you simply cannot afford to let up for a single second. Although we won some laurels in 2013, we have certainly not rested on them.

“The manufacturers in the World Rally Championship agreed not to homologate any new World Rally Cars for the 2014 season. Despite this, we tried to take full advantage of the options still available to us.

“Many detailed aspects of the 2014 Polo R WRC have been further developed since we made our debut 12 months ago. Every single member of the team cannot wait to find out where we stand compared to the strong competition we will face from Citroën and Ford, as well as our new opposition at Hyundai.”

After last season, the team under the WRC regulations played 10 so-called jokers, which allowed it to alter individual components compared to the homologation documents submitted previously.

Besides optimising chassis components and new set-ups for the four-wheel drive train, the priority for engineers was to improve the stability of the car.

Volkswagen used one joker to install new software for the on-board electronics.

A major plus in 2013 was the reliability of the Polo R WRC. In 13 World Championship rallies – three with two cars and 10 with three – the works team did not suffer any engine damage. There was just one technical fault, a loose connection in the electronics.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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