The 2017 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, first look

  • Alvin Kato

    Interesting! Thanks for the post Tom!
    In other news, I have seen complaints elsewhere about the fact that the new cars will be stable and hence not spectacular even at higher speeds. What are your thoughts on this?

    • MadYarpen

      According to drivers additional power should solve that. But it is easy to underestimate technology nowadays…

      • Alvin Kato

        Nope thats not true. Even Jari Matti was quoted as saying, that a high powered stable car does n’t look spectacular, its like the way f1 cars don’t look special at high speeds.

        • Revenger210

          well, there’s also a partial reason for that – camera technology for instance; in the days of old, mounted cameras on cars felt a lot more of the vibrations the engine generated when it revved up because the ech was still developing. So when you watched these videos, even on rally cars, you could see the camera bouncing all over the place as the car developed more and more speed, because camera stabilizers didn’t exist or were very primitive technologically speaking.

          Now, that “raw” kind of magic is gone due to advancements in technology – but in return we get so much more clearer and crispier picture and in HD nonetheless. You lose some, you gain some I guess XD

          and that was a technology psa/o-topic sidestepping :P

    • wrblog

      I’d give them a chance to prove themselves at least. I don’t hate stability that much – it’s hard for me to pick sides really. On one hand, we would like to see them struggle for control and use up all their skills to keep the cars going. On the other, isn’t it a bit odd that we’re advocating less efficiency if we can have more control and more speed at the same time? For me it’s quite fundamental – similar to WRC switching from RWD to 4WD back in the 80s.

      • Alvin Kato

        Good balance of viewpoints as always Tom. Can’t have everything it seems, we have to choose and the FIA has chosen. So let’s see how they fair, the with the horse power the cars are going to be powerful am certain it will take the same amount of skill set to keep those soon to be wild beasts under control.

  • FuchsrohreWRC

    People in the WRC have their heads in the sand – the new 2017
    cars are not going to bring the glory days back; especially if the rumours are
    true. More power, bigger wings, active diffs = cars cornering as if on rails.
    Is that what we want? No!!

    I’ll say it again. You/ they get the sport they deserve. They
    won’t make the changes necessary to
    improve the sport – yet they moan and wonder why it’s not working.

    Cars, events which are spectacular and capture people’s
    imagination – something which isn’t happening at the moment.

    • Dar

      The electronic center diff has me concerned. That typically equals less sideways action and less “responsibility” for the driver to manage.

      • Jason Anthony

        And higher cost… We saw how that turned out in the mid 2000’s

  • Revenger210

    Having seen the concept art VW has provided, I can admit I like those new cars better than the proposed design WRC gave earlier this year.
    However, what I still would like to see in the WRC would be more variety in car designs – I highly doubt the new cars will differ from each other a lot, or at all, and most will stick with the VW formula, which, although nice, will look boring if we just see the same car with a different coat of paint every time.

    I wish there was a higher variety in rallies available so that different cars could cater to different events, an incentive, if you will, to allow bigger cars, which were better suited to high endurance events like the Safari, to enter the championship again. Hell, I’d love to see a RWD car enter again, provided there were events that could suit a RWD car better than the current crop of 4WD ones we have (or even FWD, like the kit cars we saw in the late 90s, that legitimately challenged – and won- against the then current WRC cars in asphalt events).

    However, all I see is that, much like F1, WRC is heading down an uninspiring route, where the endurance and the sport factors are downplayed in favour of the spectacle and the show. Especially after the Mexico fiasco of the 80+ km stage being dropped because drivers couldn’t push all the way through, I highly doubt the sport we all love here will be able to rekindle the old magic it had. It’ll still be fun to watch, no doubt, it’s not nearly as corrupted or broken as F1 and the drivers are much better to interact and look at then the F1 prima donnas, but it will not be the sport I fell in love with during the 2000s.

    But enough pessimism, let’s see what the future has in store for us. I hope the 2017 evolution turns out better than expected.

    • Alex Langheck

      Excellent post!!
      Hit the nail on the head.
      I’d like to be optimistic, but we’ve been here before. 2011 was going to bring in a new successful era for the WRC. It didn’t happen.

      Whilst F1 shoots itself in the foot, and the WRC stagnates, World RX seems to be growing, and the WEC seems to be everybody’s choice of Motorsport at the moment.

      • wrblog

        Fair enough, but personally I cannot find excitement in the WEC, for the exact same reason that prevents me from fully enjoying the World RX. One is too damn long, the other too damn short. Yet no motor sport discipline is or should be universal in its appeal, right? Your point still stands, regarding current situation, but personally I am not going to dismiss the new WRC before it happens. Let’s give it a chance.

        • Alex Langheck

          How many times have we said that before? Give it a chance – but it never, ever changes. Why should it be any better in 2017?
          Personally, the WRC needs revolution, not more evolution. It’s just history repeating…..

          I urge people to listen to the AbsoluteRally podcast interviews with Mark James; he hits the nail on the head regarding the promotion, cars, event formats, etc

          • wrblog

            Alex, what would be the key things in such revolution, in your opinion?

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