The appearance of the Polo R WRC has been completely overhauled for the 2015 season. The previous main colour, white, has been replaced by a shade of dark blue at the front, with white and light blue stripes on the sides that merge into the vehicle’s white rear.
The vehicle’s white rear is dominated by a newly designed wing. The aim is to improve aerodynamic efficiency. And Volkswagen’s strong partners in the World Rally Championship have been incorporated into the new design: Red Bull, the lubricant partner Castrol, Volkswagen Financial Services, the tyre partner Michelin, the chassis and clutch specialist ZF Sachs and the equipment manufacturer OMP.
The new Polo R WRC design was developed at the Volkswagen Motorsport workshop in Hanover, with paint giving way to adhesive film. And the new design features Volkswagen’s strong partners in the World Rally Championship: Red Bull, the lubricant partner Castrol, Volkswagen Financial Services, the tyre partner Michelin, the chassis and clutch specialist ZF Sachs and the equipment manufacturer OMP.
It’s not just on the outside that the Volkswagen engineers have made some significant changes – there are lots of technical innovations inside too, the most significant of which is the hydraulically controlled gearbox which is now operated by means of a gearshift paddle on the steering wheel.
Around three-quarters of the vehicle’s parts, including the chassis, engine, suspension, power train and aerodynamics, were checked and optimised to make them simpler, lighter and more stable. In the interior of the 2015 Polo R WRC, the gearstick has been replaced by a new gearshift paddle. The lever for the hydraulically operated handbrake is located conveniently in relation to the steering wheel. The on-board electronics and cut-outs are located in the centre console. A rally computer in front of the co-driver’s seat logs important information, such as the route travelled and the time until the next time control.
Under the bonnet, there’s a 1.6-litre four-cylinder TSI engine (81.5 kilos) based on the Global Race Engine concept, with a turbocharger and petrol direct injection. Its power output is throttled by the air restrictor stipulated in the regulations. The engine’s power output has been increased to 318 hp for the 2015 season.
Weight was a key issue when it came to optimising the 318 hp engine. It now weighs precisely 81.5 kilogrammes, as stipulated in the regulations after the minimum engineweight was reduced by a kilogramme before the start of the season. While the engine is now lighter, the engineers have still managed to increase its power output and torque.
One of the most nimble mechanical components in the Polo R WRC is the turbocharger. During a WRC season, the three turbo paddle wheels of all three Volkswagen Polo R WRCs together complete a total of more than 1.3 billion revolutions.