Vans may have about as much business on a race track as an Adam's apple does on a working girl, but bizarre though they are, once in a while they pop up just the same. Case in point: the Volkswagen Caddy Racer.
The new race-prepped utility van has just been unveiled by Volkswagen at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC Show in Birmigham, England. It takes the form of the new Caddy panel van introduced late last year and replaces the previous-generation Caddy Racer. Underneath the commodious bodywork sits a 2.0-liter gasoline-burning four with 270 metric horsepower driving the front wheels through a six-speed competition-spec gearbox. The rear axle has been replaced by the Golf's multi-link suspension, with adjustable dampers up front, a Milltek exhaust system and 18-inch alloys housing ventilated brakes discs and wearing Hankook racing slicks.
Like the model it replaces, the new Caddy Racer will be driven by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles director Simon Elliott in the Volkswagen Racing Cup, dicing it with the likes of Sciroccos, Golfs, Beetles, Jettas and Polos of various generations across Britain's finest racing circuits (plus a trip to Zandvoort in Holland) in support of the British Formula 3 and GT championships. Check out the details in the press release after the jump and scope out the images in the gallery below for a closer look.
Related Gallery2011 Volkswagen Caddy Racer
NEW CADDY RACER READY TO TAKE TO THE TRACK FOR 2011 SEASON
The latest addition to the 2011 Volkswagen Racing Cup grid has been unveiled today at the Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham's NEC. The new Caddy Racer will join the highly competitive championship with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' director Simon Elliott once again behind the wheel.
Since its introduction to the championship in 2004, the Caddy Racer has proved to be a true crowd-pleaser, gaining its own group of loyal followers while at the hands of both Elliott and his predecessor, Peter Wyhinny. This latest model will surely be one of the most recognisable vehicles on the grid when they line-up at Oulton Park on 25 April, finished in white and the distinctive orange hue of the RAC, which is continuing its sponsorship for the 2011 season.
Beneath the stylish new exterior of the new Caddy which was launched at the end of 2010, a number of key upgrades have been made to improve performance, handling and the dynamics of the new Caddy Racer over its predecessor. The most significant change over the previous model is the installation of a 2.0-litre petrol engine which develops 270 PS, channelled through the front wheels via a six-speed Volkswagen Racing quick shift gearbox. In addition to this, the rear axle has been uprated to the multi-link system found in the road-going Golf.
Commenting on his new vehicle ahead of the season, Simon Elliott explained: 'The new Caddy has started life strongly since its launch and has already started winning awards, so the Caddy Racer will hopefully add to the trophy cabinet! We learnt a lot through the developments made with the original Caddy Racer, and initial tests with the new van have been extremely promising. This really is a clear demonstration of Brilliant Made Better – I just can't wait to get back out on track.'
The Volkswagen Racing Cup starts over the Easter weekend (25 April) at Oulton Park, and will visit some of the most famous circuits around the UK, including Snetterton, Brands Hatch, and Donington Park, plus it incorporates a trip to Zandvoort in the Netherlands, before the season finale at Silverstone in October.
For more information on the new Caddy, and the rest of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles range, please call 0800 717131 or visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk.
Visit www.vw-cup.co.uk for details on the Volkswagen Racing Cup and the full race calendar for the 2001 season.