It is a Polo, but it is also not a Polo. Meet VW’s 2018 WRX challenger
This Volkswagen ‘Supercar’ is a Polo, in much the same way Bruce Banner is the Hulk. One is mild-mannered and prone to discourse, while the other prefers to SMASH.
Meet SMASH, then. It’s officially called the Volkswagen Polo R Supercar and is the company’s 2018 world rallycross contender. A car that aims to defend Johan Kristoffersson’s 2017 WRX drivers’ title.
“Our goal is to provide Johan and Petter [Solberg, Johan’s team mate] with a good car,” explains VW motorsport boss Sven Smeets. It looks good, so that’s a start.
Underneath sits a 2.0-litre, Very Turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing a whopping 562bhp, allied of course to a four-wheel-drive system. These things are capable of going from 0-100km/h in 1.9s, which outguns an F1 car. Frankly, if we’re not seeing a road-version of this with exactly this power and performance anytime soon, we shall be sad.
Changes over last year’s Polo R are most noticeable up front, apparently, with a focus on increased engine cooling forcing a redesign, and more emphasis on aero. It’s “far more efficient” than last year’s car, we’re promised.
The new rear wing also creates lots of lovely downforce and allows for more set-up options.
The new WRX season kicks off on 14 April in Barcelona. Time to SMASH.
STORY Vijay Pattni