Volkswagen announced earlier this year that it would be entering the World Rally Championship starting in 2013 with the Polo R, and we got our first glimpse of the race car here in Frankfurt. While it's easy to see the similarities to the road version, the Polo R WRC has been transformed into an all-out rally car with widened fenders, a fully stripped and caged interior, and plenty of carbon fiber on the body. Under the hood is a race-prepped version of Volkswagen's 1.6-liter STI engine producing something in the range of 300 horsepower. 300 HP! This is a Polo, people.

Volkswagen is no stranger to rally racing, having won the 1986 Group A championship with a Golf GTI 16V and more recently finding success in the Australian and Finnish Rally Car Championships. VW also hopes to transfer some of the knowledge gained from competing in the Dakar Rally, which it has won the past three years.

We'll have to wait and see if the Polo R WRC finds similar success in motorsports, but with Volkswagen's backing, we wouldn't be surprised to see it on the podium soon enough. That won't be for a few years, though, so in the meantime, check out our photos of the car on display in Frankfurt.


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  • 13 Comments
      nos4sheezy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not sure if this mistake is just on the mobile version of the site but it's the 1.6 TSI, not Subaru STI - please correct autoblog! :-)
      Maxximtl
      • 3 Years Ago
      So many elements on this car seem like a blatant rip off of the Fiesta WRC concept. http://newcarupdate.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Ford-Fiesta-WRC.jpg
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Maxximtl
        The aero package on this car is regulated by the WRC. That's why it looks like the Fiesta. Stop being a troll.
        AnthonyL
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Maxximtl
        1 - The polo has been around longer than the fiesta (current models) 2 - Its a WRC car. You could say that ___ copied ___ with all of them. Its like saying Chevy copied Ford in nascar or Ferrari copied Mercedes in F1. Is it not supposed to have fender flares or large intakes? I will give you that the colors are similar. As far as the front fascia, VW has had that look since the Thunderbunny golf and the TDI jetta racers. Actually we could say that the fiesta has taken design cues from the polo and golf, but I wont ;)
      ToyotaSupraMan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why put 300 hp on a Polo? Because rallycar.
      ToyotaSupraMan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why put 300hp on a Polo? Because rallycar.
      breakfastburrito
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just makes me sadder, that we don't get the polo in the States...
      [event horizon]
      • 3 Years Ago
      VOLKSWAGEN! ARE YOU LISTENING? Bring this Polo to the US in street-legal guise. Keep the widebodykit, and the 3-door body, and add/keep AWD. We guarantee it would sell like hotcakes.
      Rampant
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now if only Audi would enter with the RS1.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rampant
        Audi wouldn't be able to enter because of VW already being in the series. Also, if I remember correctly, Audi won't be building an RS1.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      AcidTonic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow. would take this over any Focus ST or Fiesta ST. Sell this in the US please.
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