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VW Polo WRC engine: restrictor costs more than 200 hp

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VW Polo WRC engine
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H eins-Jakob Neußer calls out to the audience: '33 millimeters, that's exactly the length of a paper clip. And that corresponds exactly to the diameter of the air flow limiter in our Polo WRC. ' With a grand gesture, the VW technical director holds up a paper clip. He knows how to captivate the audience - even when it comes to a supposedly rather bland substance like the air flow limiter. Because now Neuss is pulling the ace out of its sleeve: 'The engine in our VW Polo WRC has 315 hp. But if this 1.6-liter four-cylinder has a 45-millimeter restrictor, it makes 544 hp.'

The auditorium at the Volkswagen Motorsport world championship party applauds. 544 hp from 1.6-liter displacement - that's a thing, isn't it? 'Historically, our engine is based on the concept of the Global Race Engine,' says Donatus Wichelhaus, the engine boss at VW motorsport. The idea behind it: The world association FIA wanted to enable automobile manufacturers to play in many different classes of motorsport with one and the same engine - a four-cylinder turbo -.

The range extends from the Formula 3 engine, a two-liter -Suckers with 220 hp, through the rally and touring car world championships to Formula 1 with an output of around 600 hp. After a lot of political fuss, in Formula 1, preference was given to a V6 turbo. From Volkswagen's point of view, however, this does not matter. Because officially the topic of Formula 1 is an absolute no-go for VW.

Engine boss Wichelhaus is very impressed by the regulations: 'The FIA ​​has shown real foresight.' For a layperson, this set of rules is rather confusing: There is talk of the nature of the materials, minimum weights for components such as connecting rods and pistons and even minimum widths for the crankshaft bearings.

VW Polo WRC engine to maximum 600 HP designed

Unless you are an engine designer, it is sufficient to know that the Global Race Engine is designed for an output of 600 HP. So all of the lower horsepower descendants have, to a certain extent, oversized components. 'In the World Rally Championship, a driver has three engines per season,' says Wichelhaus. So reliability has the highest priority. In fact, in the 30 World Championship rallies that VW has contested since entering the World Championship in January 2013, there was not a single bad damage to the engine.

VW has been in the US Global Rally Cross series sinceThis year represented with two all-wheel drive Beetles for the drivers Scott Speed ​​and Tanner Foust. 'The Beetle's engines are those from the 2013 Polo WRC,' reveals Wichelhaus. 'It is, so to speak, a second use. And a nice example of how you can save money.'

For the performance increase by almost double, from 315 hp to 544 hp, VW Motorsport only needs a few ingredients. The most important factor is the larger air flow limiter, 45 instead of 33 millimeters in diameter. Wichelhaus picks up his pocket calculator and then announces: 'Because of the limiter, you can get a maximum of 730 kilos of air per hour into the combustion chambers of the WRC engine, in the rallycross engine it is 1,360 kilos of air per hour.' 'v-A_-headline v-A_-headline__article - beta'> Larger turbo and camshafts bring additional power

The second big difference in the two versions of the 1,600 is the turbocharger: There is a lot of work in the Beetle bigger turbo from Garrett. Then there are camshafts with modified timing - and the conversion is done.

Drivability is at least as important as performance and reliability. With both engine variants, an anti-lag system (ALS) ensures that the turbocharger always keeps the intake system under pressure and that the engine gets down to business without delay. The auto motor und sport author can confirm from his own experience: The ALS works - and how. The Polo WRC goes like Schmidt's cat.

Last year's track test in Ogier's world champion car showed that the 100 km /h mark was reached after just 90 meters. In the rallycross scene you can only smile tiredly about it. 544 hp and all-wheel drive - that results in rocket-like performance. Even the rallycross pros admit: 'For us, it's all about traction. We have enough power.'

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