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Volkswagen Polo R WRC boosted for 2017 season. Image by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Polo R WRC boosted for 2017 season
More power, less weight, better aero for 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC.
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What's all this about?

The excellent, and dominant, Volkswagen Polo R World Rally Championship (WRC) car is getting harder, better, faster, stronger for next year.

How so?

Changes in WRC regulations for 2017 have given the Volkswagen Motorsport team some extra leeway to turn up the wick on the Polo R. For instance, the 2017 version will have to cart 25kg less mass about (minimum overall weight is now 1,175kg) and, thanks to an air restrictor increased in size from 33- to 36mm, power leaps from the current example's 318hp to a fulsome 380hp for next year. The aero has also been improved.

Is that why the Polo R WRC is wearing that ludicrous rear wing?

Indeed. There's more aerodynamic freedom in the 2017 WRC rules and so Volkswagen Motorsport has made the car 50mm wider, which allows for a broader front spoiler and that picnic table on the boot.

Anything else that's changed?

Yes, the use of electronic centre differentials for the four-wheel drive transmission is permitted for the 2017 season. These cars should therefore be more spectacular than before, but don't take our word for that - take the word of Jost Capito.

Jost Capito? What's his role in all of this?

He's the director of Volkswagen Motorsport and he says: "The 2017 WRC regulations include many spectacular technical innovations for the World Rally Championship. The World Rally Cars of the future will incorporate all the experience that teams have gained in recent years. They will be considerably more dynamic, while at the same time being safer. As usual, we are working painstakingly on the development of the next generation of the Polo R WRC. The key between now and the start of next season is to achieve the best possible prerequisites to allow the 2017 Polo R WRC to be as successful as its two predecessors."

How's the 2016 Polo R WRC doing?

Flawlessly well. There have been three rounds of the WRC so far at the time of writing and the Volkswagen has won the lot of them. Expect big things of it for round four in Argentina at the end of the month, then, and even bigger things from the 380hp 2017 successor.

Matt Robinson - 15 Apr 2016    - Volkswagen road tests
- Volkswagen news
- Polo images

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