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by Jay Traugott
Volkswagen's WRC rally team has managed to score an impressive debut performance by placing second in the Rally Monte Carlo.
It's taken more than 12,000 miles of testing, 17 months of development and nearly 1,700 new components, but the Volkswagen Polo R WRC has had quite a debut. VW's little rally-tuned hatchback has just placed second in the Rally Monte Carlo, coming in directly behind Sebastien Loeb in a Citroen. Driven by Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia, the Polo R WRC performed superbly thanks not only to its talented drivers, but also to the team of engineers behind the scenes.
The car is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder TSI engine that produces 300 horsepower and mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox. To keep weight to a minimum, the doors, tailgate, and wheel arch extensions are made from carbon-Kevlar. All told, the car comes in at just 2,645 lbs. The interior was also subjected to weight-saving measures with a stripped dashboard and the seats were repositioned in order to improve overall weight distribution. The Polo R WRC will be back in action on February 7th in Sweden as the WRC season continues.