After dominating the World Rally Championship two years running, Volkswagen is out to defend its titles with the new Polo R WRC you see here – unveiled in Wolfsburg and set to tackle the Rally Monte Carlo.
Last time we rode with Chris Harris we were shotgun in the tan leather seat of his used-yet-immaculate Ferrari FF. This time we're strapped into a black racing bucket of a filthy Porsche 911 rally car, one that led Harris to effuse, "I don't think I've driven a more exciting car this year, hypercars included."
Not unlike some other motor racing disciplines, the World Rally Championship tends to be ruled by dynasties. The late 1980s were dominated by Lancia, Toyota won a succession of titles in the early 90s, Mitsubishi and Subaru traded top spots in the late 90s and Citroën dominated from 2003 through 2012. But these days its all about Volkswagen.
Lancia's death is sad for many, many reasons, chief among which is the end of its wonderful, wild rally heritage. While the brand might best be known for the Stratos and the Delta HF Integrale, there was another big name model, called the 037, that did its best to live up to the family name.
How Rallying Is Improving The Breed, And Forecasting Hyundai Performance
Autoblog joined Hyundai to check out the Neste Oil Rally Finland, where thousands of kilometers of lightly traveled, rolling gravel roads have turned out decades of astonishing racing and cold-blooded drivers. Even though the World Rally Championship is well tamed from its feral Group B days, Rally Finland is still the drivers' favorite, with the fastest speeds and the biggest jumps.
The Subaru WRX STI breaking the automotive lap record at the Isle of Man might be just the beginning of the headlines trumpeting a Subaru racecar. According to the latest rumors, the Japanese brand is looking at taking motorsports more seriously in the future. That could possibly even mean endurance racing at Le Mans.
Mastering an impression is hard enough – even if you're trying to do a person with highly recognizable tendencies, like Christopher Walken or Al Pacino – but getting the sound of vehicle just right by using nothing but your own vocal anatomy is on a whole different level. That's what makes people like Daniel Jovanov so impressive. The former Australia's Got Talent contestant doesn't just do a generic car or truck, he has honed his skill down to specific models.
Rallying may enjoy a very strong association with all-wheel drive, but it wasn't so long ago that the World Rally Championship was populated by cars that slipped and slid across gravel and tarmac using rear-wheel drive. One of those was the Toyota Celica. While the little Celica eventually joined the gravel-spewing masses with an all-wheel-drive rally car, Toyota is returning to its rear-drive rally roots with a modified version of the critically acclaimed GT86.
Yesterday, we told you about a pair of World Rally Championship drivers that used a giant bottle of Corona in place of coolant after their radiator developed a leak. We called it an example of the sense of ingenuity that all rally drivers seem to possess. In that same post, we also talked about the "lightning quick reflexes and the ability to turn off one's sense of self-preservation." Now, you get to see that in action.
Rallying requires lightning quick reflexes and the ability to turn off one's sense of self-preservation. This much is not in doubt. Anyone that's ever seen a rally car hurtle along a tree-lined spit of dirt road at high speeds could tell you that. What many people don't know is that it also requires a strong mechanical sense. Knowing how to repair one's car when far from the service garages is a must. A strong sense of ingenuity is pretty handy, as well.
It's been well over a year since Hyundai revealed its initial prototype for the i20 WRC at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. Now it's revealed the final version (pictured above, complete with Shell Helix livery) and it's also announced the full team that will field it next year in the World Rally Championship, including Thierry Neuville and additional drivers Juho Hänninen, Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson. That's plenty exciting for rally fans, but the news that caught our attention was buried deeper
It was 1998 when Subaru made some crucial changes to its World Rally Championship Impreza, such as increasing the displacement of the turbocharged flat-four-cylinder engine from 2.0 to 2.2 liters and fitting wide fender flares. Subaru won the WRC manufacturer championship with the car that year, and it also was the year of the automaker's 40th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, the company came out with this limited-edition, road-going Impreza, the hallowed 22B STI, which looked nearly ide
Professional rally driving is one of the toughest gigs going in motorsports. High speeds, uneven surfaces, varied weather conditions and the occasional flub from driver or co-driver can (and do) conspire to wreak all manner of havoc. Just a fraction too much steering lock, selecting the wrong gear at the wrong time or suffering from a microsecond lapse of attention can cause a racer to end up in the weeds with a quickness.
Robert Kubica seems to have more bad luck than most top-tier race car drivers, but maybe that's because his high-profile crashes since 2011 have garnered more media attention than his achievements. When we left off with him last month, he was within spitting distance of winning WRC2, and he indeed won the championship in late October. Now here's the bad news: he crashed out of his first full WRC event on Friday, ESPN F1 reports. Fortunately, Neither Kubica nor his co-driver were injured.
Rally ace Sébastien Loeb had a rare off in the final World Rally Championship race of his career, as the wet tarmac at the Rally of France saw the French star deposit his Citroen DS3 WRC into the forest. Loeb, who won the WRC's Driver's Championship every year from 2004 to 2012, and co-driver Daniel Elena emerged from their car unscathed.
For the tenth year in a row, a Frenchmen named Sébastien has been named the champion of the World Rally Championship – only it's probably not Sébastien you were expecting. Dethroning Sébastien Loeb from his WRC reign is 29-year-old Sébastien Ogier (shown above, at right) and his Volkswagen Polo R WRC.
It's always a good day when we get to post a video about rally racing. It's even better when that video is of a new WRC competitor undergoing testing. This spy video shows Hyundai's i20 WRC, a car that debuted nearly one year ago at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. It's set to usher in Hyundai's return to top-flight motorsports, and will do battle with the cars from Citroen, Ford and Volkswagen that are currently contesting the 2013 season.
Tragedy stuck this weekend at the site of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland when a driver and co-driver team from the Netherlands were killed in a crash on Saturday. The incident occurred not in the headline World Rally Championship event, but in a classic support rally.
Volkswagen has petitioned the FIA to hold on to the current specifications for cars in the World Rally Championship, according to Autosport.com. The move is evidently an effort to keep as many competitors in the sport as possible, despite the fact that using the current spec racers may actually hurt Volkswagen's chances at winning. The three factory teams currently competing in the WRC are at the end of a three-year homologation cycle at the end of 2013, and new cars are expected to bow next yea