What is the equation to make a regular road-going hatchback into a hot hatch? More power, check. Quick shifting gearbox, check, Stiffer suspension, check. Or maybe throw in some more bits like sportier handling, feedback-rich steering and some more power. But what if we add an engine swap to the equation. That too, at the rear. The drivetrain also is made rear wheel drive. The best part, it is made by the manufacturer itself and hence is completely legal. Meet the Volkswagen Polo RX, a rear-engined, 200 Bhp plus, rear wheel drive hatchback from your dreams. The best part is that it will be made available for sale, though no pricing has been set yet. However, rest assured that it will cost a hell lot more than your average hatchback.
It is made by Volkswagen Motorsport India and labelled as their ‘Winter Project’, the Polo RX is one hot hatch that can be whipped out at the track without any mercy. It is a track special model and does not follow any racing rule and regulation in particular. Moreover, the Volkswagen Polo RX is built as a one-off model for now but will also be sold to enthusiasts who want a track focused hot hatch. The car is still in its initial stages of testing and the company says it can be adapted to regulations to suit various forms of motorsport such as autocross, circuit racing or rallying.
Among the various changes and modifications done on the car, the highlight is its engine. It is a 1.8-litre turbo-petrol unit picked from the engine bay of the Ameo Cup race car. As already mentioned, it is mounted at the back and drives its rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential gearbox. The engine churns out a massive power of 205 hp along with 320 Nm of torque. No doubt then that it would be among the quickest hatchback around the race track. To put things into perspective, The most powerful hatchback under Rs. 10 lakh segment, the Fiat Punto Abarth, produces 145 Bhp of power and 212 Nm of power. The Rs. 20 lakh worth Polo GTi, on the other hand, produces 189 Bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque.
Talking about the Polo RX, Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport, said,
It is commendable how the team has managed to pull off this project with limited access to high end software and technology. Young engineers and technicians in the team have shown real calibre by getting this masterpiece ready in less than three weeks.
The engine swap and different placement has lead to a host of changes made on the car. The Polo RX gets new mounts for the engine, gearbox and rear suspension. The intercooler is installed where the fuel tank used to be. while the fuel tank has been moved to the front. Air ducts have been added to the roof, the rear doors and boot lid to help cool the rear-mounted TSI engine. The Polo RX rides on 17-inch wheels wearing MRF ZLO slick tyres and shares its electronics package with the Ameo Cup car.