Volkswagen first to unveil details of 2017 WRC contender

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Volkswagen is the first manufacturer to give insight into its next generation WRC car. The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is set to undergo a dramatic regulation change in 2017, promising more powerful, faster, and more spectacular cars.

The 2017 Polo R WRC will generate about 380 hp/280 kW, roughly 60 hp/45 kW more than the current car (318 hp/235 kW). The increase in performance is achieved by widening the air restrictor from 33mm to 36mm. Furthermore, the use of an electronic centre differential is now allowed.

The regulations also call for the cars to be 25kg lighter, 50mm wider, and with the added benefit of more aerodynamic freedom. The most visually striking changes are the larger rear wing and broader front spoiler. The minimum length of the car is now 3,900 millimetres, whilst the minimum weight is reduced from 1,200 to 1,175 kilograms.

Volkswagen has been developing the third generation of the Polo R WRC since summer 2015, when the International Automobile Federation (FIA) released the new regulations. Having already successfully tested key components in the current chassis, development of Volkswagen’s third World Rally Car now enters the crucial phase.

“The 2017 WRC regulations include many spectacular technical innovations for the World Rally Championship,” said Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito. “The World Rally Cars of the future will incorporate all the experience that teams have gained in recent years. 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.”

Although the new technical components have already been applied in numerous tests, the appearance of the Polo R WRC will still change significantly by the start of the season at the Rally Monte Carlo in January 2017.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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