Volkswagen promised us an article on aero working of their brand new WRC machine, and with a bit of delay, they delivered. I am sure the delay was caused by numerous checks article had to go through in order to tell a story, but not reveal too much. That, or they simply had other things to do, which is perfectly fine either way!
In the end, it turns out that those angular side fenders have a function after all, which would be right thing to expect, despite the idea that they were on car simply as a tribute to similar features on the legendary beast from the group B era, Audi S1 Quattro. That would be fitting and heartwarming, but I don’t think even Volkswagen have enough money, to be able to afford building a rally car as a memorabilia holder.
According to Volkswagen, badass angular fenders are primarily used as airflow directing devices. Originally I thought they were being used as flow tunnels, so to speak, but it seems gaping holes are misleading and fender’s only role is to direct airflow around the sides of the car (basically doing to the sides what that huge rear spoiler is doing for the rear of the car), while at the same time utilizing maximum allowed width of WRC vehicle, which is 182 cm and allowing for wider track for that wild DTM look. Plus, Volkswagen found out that angular shapes work better than round ones, which makes me particulary happy – bring back sharp aggression of angles!
Sexy and functional at the same time, why not – it worked on so many rally cars in the past. Looking like the legendary predecessors is just an added bonus!
Also, very impressed by Volkswagen’s response to questions from fans and media. They’re not playing hard to get, and they are not selective about their responses. You ask (and credits for asking go to @SidewaysMag), they respond (even if you are not the world famous rally journalist with 200 years of experience and more importance than the sport itself), and everyone is happy. For current and future teams, there is a lesson here.
Volkswagen Tech Talk article is right here.