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by Tim Beissmann

The long-awaited Volkswagen Polo R WRC road car has been unveiled in production form in Monte Carlo, but the news is all bad for Australian fans of the rally-inspired pocket rocket.

Limited to 2500 units worldwide, the hottest Volkswagen Polo production car in history will be produced in left-hand-drive only to satisfy homologation regulations for Volkswagen’s entry into the 2013 World Rally Championship season, putting it off the table for Volkswagen Australia.

Powering the front-wheel-drive Volkswagen Polo R WRC is an uprated version of the 155kW/280Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the Golf GTI, tuned to produce 162kW (at 4500-6300rpm) and 350Nm (at 2500-4400rpm) – a significant 30kW and 100Nm boost over the current flagship Polo GTI.

Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the Polo R WRC sprints from 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds before kicking on to a top speed of 243km/h. Fuel-wise, it consumes 7.4 litres per 100km on the combined cycle and emits an average of 174g/km CO2.

Appearing almost identical to the Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street concept (below) that debuted at Worthersee tuning show in May, the limited edition three-door-only production car sports 18-inch alloy wheels, a revised front bumper with larger intakes and a lower front spoiler, white/blue/grey livery with black mirror caps and rear spoiler, and a rear diffuser with twin chrome exhaust outlets.

Like the concept, the cabin features an alcantara-covered steering wheel, racing pedals, black roof liner and WRC-embroidered partial leather seats.

Priced from 33,900 euros ($41,800), the Volkswagen Polo R WRC will be available to order in select markets from tomorrow ahead of the first deliveries in September 2013.




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