Special edition Polo gets its own tuning program

Introduced in 2012 as a road-spec version of its WRC racer, the Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street was billed as a special edition model that was released to give people the chance to see the Polo in a guise it’s never had before. Only 2,500 of these models were made available and each one of them came with a series of distinctive features no other Polo R had. None was more important than the use of the Golf GTI’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

Fast forward to today and the Polo R WRC Street can still hold court as one of the most desirable Polo variants in the market. That’s a big reason why Wimmer RS decided to give the special edition Polo its very own aftermarket upgrade.

The significance of this is far-reaching as the German tuner seems to believe that even with the Polo R WRC Street’s "special" engine, it can be even more special if it’s given the proper tuning upgrade. The tuner set out to do just that, and by and large, it came up with a kit that even the Polo R WRC Street would be proud of. The only downside to this program is that it’s limited to a specific model, and a special edition at that.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

  • 2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street By Wimmer
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    420
  • Torque @ RPM:
    354
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    174 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street By Wimmer High Resolution Exterior
- image 673426

Flashy is as flashy does and Wimmer’s take on the Polo R WRC Street proves that. The hot hatch didn’t exactly receive any aerodynamic enhancements to the body, but in typical Wimmer fashion, the German tuner dressed up the car in a full-scale body wrap comprised of red and blue patterns complementing the white base color of the Polo R WRC Street. Wimmer is known for doing this as shown by its past tuning programs for the Mercedes C 63 AMG BlueGreen Eliminator from 2011 and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS from 2012. Other than the body wrap and the new set of 17-inch wheels from OZ wheels, everything about the Polo R WRC Street’s exterior remains the same.

Interior

The interior of the Polo R WRC Street was also left untouched. It would’ve been nice to see an upgrade, but it’s also hard to complain too much considering that Volkswagen already did its part by dressing up the cabin with fine leather and Alcantara with contrast blue stitching. That’s on the luxury end of the interior design. The sporty end is taken cared of by the bucket seats, racing-style pedals, and WRC badging, the latter of which was embossed on the seat covers to clearly emphasize the unique nature of this particular Polo.

Drivetrain

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street By Wimmer High Resolution Exterior
- image 673428

It’s true that the Polo R WRC Street has some age on it, having been introduced all the way back in 2012 as a street-spec iteration of the automaker’s WRC rally racer. But even with its age, the hot hatch can still pack a punch, thanks in large part to its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps out 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Impressive numbers, right? It is if you’re still stuck in 2012. Unfortunately, it’s 2016 now and as is the case with cars released four years ago, it needs an upgrade to keep up with the times.

Wimmer managed to pull it off, extracting an impressive 420 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque out of that compact engine

That’s where Wimmer comes in as it has a developed a tuning kit for the Polo R WRC Street’s four-banger that would make it one of the fastest and most powerful Polos in the world today. The tuner did that by upgrading the turbocharger, modifying the high-pressure pump, and adding a custom stainless steel sports exhaust system. In addition, the four-cylinder’s ECU was also remapped with the intercoolers also undergoing significant modifications. It’s a lot of work, but Wimmer managed to pull it off, extracting an impressive 420 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque out of that compact engine. Do the math and that’s 20 ponies more than what the recently introduced Volkswagen Golf R400 Concept is capable of producing.

That’s serious business and it’s enough to give the Polo R WRC Street a new top speed of 174 mph, 23 mph quicker than when it was unveiled four years ago. The tuner didn’t specify how much quicker the hot hatch will be with the engine kit, but a 0-to-60-mph sprint time of under five seconds is possible now.

Suspension

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street By Wimmer High Resolution Exterior
- image 673437

Given how much more powerful the Polo R WRC Street is with Wimmer’s stage IV engine kit, it’s important to remember that the car is still front-wheel-drive. The extra power is going to make this thing tricky to drive without any modifications to the suspension. Fortunately, Wimmer didn’t leave that out of its program as it’s also offering a KW coilover suspension to at least make the hot hatch less of a handful to drive.

Pricing

Simmer has priced its stage IV engine kit at €10,200, or somewhere around $11,530 based on current exchange rates. It’s important to note that the price for the every upgrade could be much higher on account of the body wrap, the wheels, and the suspension upgrades that are also included in the whole program.

Competition

Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street

2013 Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 485891

The Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street may have some legs on it, but with Wimmer’s help, it’s got enough power to stare down the competition without even blinking. One car that can go eye-to-eye with the Polo R WRC Street is Renault Clio 220 Trophy EDC by Waldow Performance. It’s also a recent kit and just like Wimmer’s program for the Polo R WRC Street, this one comes with its own Smurf Blue vinyl wrap. This kit also has a few useful aero bits, including new front and rear spoilers, things that the Wimmer kit doesn’t have.

Under its hood, Waldow Performance has prepared a tuning kit made up of an integrated water-cooling system into the intercooler to improve the latter’s thermal stability, a modified engine software, and an NAP sport-exhaust with sound control capabilities. In addition, the tuner is also preparing a modified turbocharger, downpipe, and a sport catalytic, all of which are still under testing and development. So as you can expect, there are no numbers to speak of at the moment, but rest assured, the work being put into the Clio 220 Trophy EDS makes me believe that it’s going to get in excess of 400 horsepower from its four-cylinder engine. That’s enough to give the Wimmer-tuned Polo R WRC Street a serious run for its money.

Read our full review here.

Mini Cooper John Cooper Works F300 by Manhart Racing

2016 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works F300 by Manhart Racing
- image 672870

If it’s hot hatchbacks we’re talking about, the conversation wouldn’t be the same without mentioning the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works. Recently, another German tuner – Manhart Racing – went to work on the Cooper JCW and gave it a nice power update of its own. Oh, and it also got a British Racing Green paint finish with matching gold accents, decals, and gold racing stripes. Some aero upgrades were also offered, including a new front bumper with large air inlets, and a new set of 19-inch, lightweight, gold alloy wheels.

Power isn’t in the level of what Wimmer and Waldow developed for the Polo R WRC Street and Clio 220 Trophy EDC, respectively. Still, it’s more than enough to get the juices flowing, thanks in large part to a new intercooler and a Remus stainless steel sports exhaust system to go along with an optimized ECU unit. All of these modifications help the Cooper JCW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produce 300 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque. As I said, the numbers aren’t quite up to par with the other programs, but rest assured, there’s a lot of fight in the Cooper JCW, even if the numbers don’t necessarily back them up.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street By Wimmer High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 673438

Here’s the good news: Wimmer’s program for the Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street is impressive by all accounts. I mean, you can’t go wrong with 400 horsepower, right? Even the wraps can be considered as a plus to the overall kit. But there’s the bad news. It’s hard to find a Polo R WRC Street these days. Volkswagen released them in limited numbers back in 2012 and there’s no telling how many are still available today. If anything, some of them will probably be in the second-hand market now. So if you happen to have one of the 2,500 units VW released to the market, consider yourselves lucky that you have a tuning program for your limited edition Polo R. Otherwise, well, it doesn’t really mean much, does it?

  • Leave it
    • Quite pricey relative to the car
    • No aero upgrades
    • Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street models are hard to come by these days
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