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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.
10.Honda Civic Hatchback
We might have some fancy cars over here in the USA, but there are quite a few vehicles overseas that we can’t help but think are desperately missing from our shores. More than a few are niche market models perfect for auto-enthusiasts, while others are more stylish or practical than what’s currently available in the US. And some are both.
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
Previous reports of a high-performance R version of the Volkswagen Polo sub-compact have been downplayed in the past, but the German automaker rejuvenated enthusiasm in the idea when it revealed the new Polo R WRC race car last week. With R decals displayed prominently across the car, it’s a clear hint that the Polo R idea still has wings.
Adding to the speculation are comments by VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg who said the chance of a Polo R street car was “likely.”
“You can see how the World Rally Championship programme would increase the probability of an R version of the base model [Polo],” he said in an interview with AutoCar.
Currently VW offers a Polo GTI using the company’s supercharged and turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. That same mill could be used to power the Polo R, upping its output from 177-hp to north of 200.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Polo GTI
With continued reports about the Audi S1 coming to market, new rumors suggest the folks at Ingolstadt may pass on the S1 badge altogether in favor of the hard-core RS1 variant. Arguably Audi already offers a pretty beefed-up version of the A1 using the 1.4-liter twincharger engine from the Polo GTI, making around 180-hp. It only makes sense, therefore, to skip the in-between level and go all the way to the top.
The RS1, much like the planned Polo R, will use an AWD version of the same chassis and be powered by VW’s we-put-it-in-everything 2.0T powerplant. Power will be rated at a few ponies over 200, while the car is also likely to get a long list of RS upgrades, including some wide tires and big fender flares.
We’d say we’re excited, but its not like we’ll get the RS1 here anyway.
[Source: AutoBild via WorldCarFans]
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.