Volkswagen’s 2013 championship-winning car is now even better thanks to a host of changes applied since making its debut almost twelve months ago.
Ahead of the new season, which opens with Rally Monte Carlo from 14th to 19th January, Volkswagen has made detailed improvements to its 315 horsepower World Rally Car including a striking new design featuring grey and blue stripes.
Under World Rally Car (WRC) rules the team played ten so-called ‘jokers’ in 2013, which allowed it to alter individual components compared to the homologation documents submitted previously.
Besides optimising the chassis and installing new set-up variants for the drive train, the priority for the engineers was to improve the stability of the car, while one joker was used to install a new software version for the on-board electronics.
“If you don’t go forwards in motorsport, you go backwards,” said Motorsport Director Jost Capito.
“When it comes to technical development, you simply cannot afford to let up for a single second. Although we won some laurels in 2013, we have certainly not rested on them. The manufacturers in the World Rally Championship agreed not to homologate any new World Rally Cars for the 2014 season. Despite this, we tried to take full advantage of the options still available to us.”
“Many detailed aspects of the 2014 Polo R WRC have been further developed since we made our debut twelve months ago. Every single member of the team cannot wait to find out where we stand compared to the strong competition we will face from Citroën and Ford, as well as our new opposition at Hyundai.”
The four wheel-drive powerhouse from Wolfsburg won ten of the 13 rallies last season, securing all three World Championship titles including the driver’s crown for lead-driver Sébastien Ogier.
The team’s dominant performance was made even more remarkable by the car’s reliability – throughout 13 World Championship rallies the team incurred just one technical fault (a loose connection in the electronics), otherwise across three competing cars not a single engine failure was reported.
Sounds like ominous news for VW’s competitors.