Volkswagen defends its Rally championship with the 2015 Polo R WRC

The 2015 World Rally Championship is set to kick off in Monte Carlo next week, and Volkswagen is out to defend its title as reigning champion. Its weapon of choice is this new Polo R WRC.

The updated rally racer is based off of the brand’s European-sold subcompact that comes in three-door and five-door hatch configurations as well as a sedan. It doesn’t change much from the previous year’s winning vehicle ( if it ain’t broke,.. etc.), apart from a new livery and a hydraulic six-speed sequential gearbox that can now be operated by paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Those parts that did carry over were carefully scrutinized to see how they could be made lighter and stronger.

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

The Polo R’s engine gets a little bit of a power increase, allowing its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine to produce 318 horsepower over the previous 315 hp. This is done with the help of a turbocharger and direct injection. Given enough room, the Polo R WRC can top out at 124 mph. That power is delivered to its permanent four-wheel drive with an equal torque split between the front and rear axles, with limited slip differentials on the front and rear axles.

Volkswagen will have three cars running through the season, which will begin, as mentioned, with the Monte Carlo Rally on the 22nd. Like Formula 1’s Monaco Gran Prix, this rally is one of the most prestigious, with stages taking place through some of the oldest cities on the Côte d’Azur as well as passes through the alps like the Col De Turini. If that name rings a bell, it was the first stop on the journey taken by Top Gear in their search for the ultimate driving road. As challenging as it was, they had it lucky since they didn’t have snow to contend with. We look forward to see the battle Volkswagen and the other contenders have ahead of them.

Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.