Volkswagen Motorsport India will begin the testing of Polo R2, a specially developed rally car, during the upcoming IMS K-1000 Rally at Bangalore. Multi-APRC title holder Karamjit Singh, who has been driving for Team Slideways Industries, will get behind the wheel of the newly developed prototype. The Polo R2 will compete in a new category that will be introduced by FMSCI in the Indian Rally Championship (IRC) 2014.
Polo Cup started in 2010 and is now in its fourth successful season. While young talent has been identified, trained and promoted to international racing series through the Polo R Cup series over the last few years, it was time for Volkswagen Motorsport India to expand to other forms of motorsport in India. The logical step was taken with the extension of technical support to rally teams competing with Volkswagen Polo in the Indian National Rally Championship.
Volkswagen Motorsport India has now developed its first prototype of the Volkswagen Polo R2 – a rally-spec version of the Polo. The Polo R2 will compete in a new category R2 that will be introduced by FMSCI in IRC from 2014 season. Before entering the competitive season, the Polo R2 will be tested at upcoming IMS K-1000 Rally in Bangalore and then at the Chikmaglur Rally in December 2013.
The Polo R2 is powered with a four cylinder 1.6-litre MPI petrol engine that produces over 130 PS of power. The engine has been mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. Other modifications to the car include Reiger Suspension and uprated Alcon brakes (285mm front disc and 255mm rear disc). The bodywork modifications comprise of aerodynamic body kit, rear spoiler, a roof vent and stripped interiors. From safety point of view, the car has been equipped with FIA-spec roll-cage, fire extinguisher system and OMP rally seats with six-point harness for the driver and navigator. The Polo R2 will run on 15-inch alloy wheels shod with JK Rally tyres.
Prithviraj Siddappa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, said “The first running in of the car has been done and the feedback has been good so far. Karamjit Singh has been driving the Group N Polo this season for which we have been providing technical and spares support at the rally stages. He will now move up to the R2 which is a more powerful car. His inputs are crucial for us in developing the car further and we hope to see some positive steps after the K-1000 Rally.”
Mahesh Kodumudi, President and Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited, commented “The Volkswagen Polo is a perfect example of German engineering. And when the engineering is right, it is always possible to extract more out of the car. Pushing the performance of the car to the limits and putting it through extreme driving will only bring out the Polo’s real potential. I believe that the Polo R2 is our next step in showcasing the capabilities of the car.”