The 2016 World Rally Championship (WRC) is still ongoing, but defending champion Volkswagen has already given a glimpse of their contender for next year's season. Set to meet new regulations imposed by the racing bodies, Volkswagen claimed that the 2017 Polo R WRC will be more powerful and wider than what they are using right now.
According to the automaker, they have been testing new components on their current Polo R chassis since August 2015. The new parts will bring major changes but Volkswagen did not explain it in detail.
‘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,” said Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport director.
For next year's season, the FIA announced that a new aerodynamic package will be used which will widen the cars by up to 50mm. In addition, it will also be fitted with larger rear wings and bigger front and rear bumpers that will give it a more aggressive look.
In terms of powertrain, the turbo restrictor will increase in size from 33mm to 36mm. This will see maximum power bump up to about 385 PS. There will also be a slight weight reduction to 1175kg (25 kg less) which will boost acceleration and top speed according to the WRC.
“They will be considerably more dynamic, whilst 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.”
Most of work on the 2017 Polo R WRC was done by former world rally championship Marcus Gronholm. In the future however, work drivers Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Marii Latvala will also be giving their inputs on the new rally car.