- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
“You are going to stand in the middle of a forest, in the dead of winter, for hours on end, to catch a glimpse of 30 cars driving by?”
Yup. This is winter rally racing and to those not involved in the automotive culture, spectating at such events sounds downright insane.
Alongside a new Exige S street car, Lotus has unveiled its proposed entry into rally racing, the Exige R-GT, today at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Weighing in at around 2,600 lbs this race car trades the old Exige’s 4-cylinder for something close to what can be found out back in the Evora S – a supercharged 3.5L V6. Power makes it to the rear wheels using a sequential 6-speed transmission with paddle shifters.
While Nobuhiro Tajima’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak has been capturing all the attention after finally breaking the sub-1o minute mark for the first time ever, but another record was set at the famed Colorado mountain this weekend in something much more accessible to mere mortals.
Volkswagen gave us a first look at their Polo R WRC, a competition version of their Polo R hot hatch destined for the World Rally Championship. Powered by a 1.6L TSI four-cylinder engine, the all-wheel drive Polo R makes 296 horsepower thanks to turbocharging and direct injection.
The usual competition modifications, like a rollcage, bucket seats, upgraded brakes and suspension are all present, and Volkswagen’s rally experience in the Dakar rally will undoubtedly help them stay competitive in one of the world’s premiere motorsports series. If only we could get the Polo R stateside, we’d feel a lot better about the existence of this rally special.
See a video teaser of the car after the jump:
With a huge gulf existing between the road-going version of the MINI Countryman and the WRC-ready version, a halo version that could bridge the gap between urban crossover and full-blown race car could be an asset for MINI, and help them leverage some of the image boost that their rally program will provide, especially in parts of the world where WRC is a popular motorsport.