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Volkswagen may have pretty much invented the sub-compact car segment in North America, and yet the brand has shown very little interest in bringing its current small car to America. That will become a serious shame next year when the German auto giant unveils a hopped-up “R” badged version of its popular hatchback.
Earlier in the month we reported that Volkswagen was testing their new WRC Polo R with Carlos Sainz behind the wheel, and now there’s video from Sainz’s testing sessions along with the official announcement of VW signing Sebastian Ogier as their first driver for the FIA World Rally Championship alongside Julien Ingrassia as his co-driver.
Ogier finished third in the 2011 WRC and looks to play a pivotal role in shaping the Polo R to become a championship caliber race vehicle. The 2.0L turbocharged Polo R cranks out 296-hp and 285 lb-ft of torque and looks right at home as it tears through its testing. Ogier drove for Citroen in 2011 and won’t be back behind the wheel until 2013 with the Polo R. The 2012 season will be dedicated to developing the Polo into a serious contender.
GALLERY: Volkswagen WRC Polo R
Check out the videos below:
[Source: Inside Line]
Volkswagen’s WRC entry in the form of a Polo R is out testing a little over a year before its official competition debut. The Polo R recently got its first bout of testing on a 1.5-mile tarmac track out in the vineyards in Trier, Germany.
Behind the wheel during test was Dakar winner Carlos Sainz and Volkswagen board member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg; both took turns piloting the WRC car for about 60 miles with Timo Gottschalk as co-driver.
The actual car being used for testing won’t be the final version of the Polo R WRC, as Volkswagen is trying to gather as much data as possible to tweak the final race car before the start of the 2013 season. Both drivers said the car felt very good and its first batch of data is very promising for a real serious contender.
Details are light on the Polo R WRC, but it’s assumed that it’ll have around 300-hp to all four wheels. Volkswagen clearly knows they have their work cut out for them to compete against veterans Ford and Citroen in WRC, but they’re clearly taking the initiative in ensuring they have a fighting chance.
GALLERY: Volkswagen WRC Polo R
Last year, Volkswagen stirred up some excitement by introducing the 2010 Polo GTI at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, and this year they’re following it up with an announcement of two R-Line packages for the Polo in addition to an Exclusive Edition for the Passat.
The pair of R-Line packages will be available as an option for the Polo Comfortline and the Polo Highline model, with one of the packages concentrating on the exterior while the other outfits the interior with upgrades.
The exterior R-Line package comes with 16- or 17-inch wheels with wider 215-tires, black gloss finish for the front grille, model-specific front and rear bumpers (based on Comfortline or Highline), a rear diffuser, chrome exhaust tips, a roof spoiler, pair of side skirts, fog lamps and LED license plate illumination. For the Comfortline the exterior R-Line package runs around $2,000 based on today’s conversion rates while the Highline will cost a little less than $1,400.
The interior R-Line package costs a tad over $1,175 for the Polo Comfortline and $620 for the Highline and with it comes a pair of sport seats up front – with Alcantara or leather option – black roof lining, sport leather steering wheel, glossy black dashboard trim and aluminum pedals and door sills.
For the Passat, Volkswagen will be offering an Exclusive Edition based on the Highline trim for the sedan at $44,700 and as a station wagon Variant for $46,300. The Exclusive Edition will outfit the Passat with a set of 18-inch wheels while it sits 0.6-inch lower thanks to sportier suspension. On the inside, where most of the changes are, VW accents the Passat with Nappa leather seats in a chocolate brown shade with contrast-colored stitching in Pepper White. The door panels and steering wheel also benefits from leather while special floor mats and a combination of wood and aluminum trim round off the accents.
At any rate, hopefully the R-Line package is just a teaser for the upcoming Polo R model that VW should be adding to its lineup next year.
GALLERY: Polo R-Line and Passat Exclusive Edition
Volkswagen’s R line of performance models looks to continue to grow and we’re not just talking about the new Golf R Cabriolet concept that debuted at the annual Worthersee GTI meet this past week.
According to sources inside the German automaker look for more models, with future versions gaining even more power. Likely to arrive first is a Polo R with an up-rated version of the 1.4 twincharger used in the Polo GTI to pump out over 200-hp. (Don’t count on that ever making it to North America though). Then, expect to see a Touareg R with a TDI V8 and excessive amounts of torque. No decision has been made on a Passat R, nor is there any discussion of a Jetta R. Previous reports have also indicated a Beetle R is in the production pipeline.
As enticing as the Passat R sounds, the real issue is finding an appropriate powerplant. Engineers are reportedly toying with turbocharging the VR6 plant, but with that engine nearly having completed its life cycle, a production VR6 turbo is unlikely. The 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder used in cars like the Audi TT-RS and RS3 is also out of the question, with that mill being kept for Audi brand vehicles.
That being said, we won’t see turbo 5-cylinder engines in the next-gen Golf R or Scirocco R either, instead VW will continue to up the output on the current 2.0 TFSI engine, with numbers as high as 300-hp being tossed around for the MK VII Golf R.
[Source: Car & Driver]
Volkswagen will expand its R lineup of performance vehicles, adding a hot-hatch Polo R in 2012. News of the hard-core sub-compact comes via AutoCar, suggesting the Polo R is likely to get a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder making roughly 210-hp.
Unlike the Golf R, however, the Polo will remain front-wheel drive as the Polo platform can’t support an AWD layout. As for a transmission, like the Polo GTI, unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva Auto Show, it’s likely to get either a six-speed manual or 7-speed DSG automatic. With the Polo GTI rated at 6.9 seconds to 62 mph, it’s likely the Polo R could dip into the 5 second range. Other highlights are sure to include some serious racing-style seats, a lowered suspension as well as VW’s XDS electronic differential, which uses the car’s brakes to slow the inside wheel in a corner.
Sadly, Volkswagen has yet to confirm the Polo model for North America so we’re really not likely to see the Polo R any time soon – if at all.