Video: Hyundai i20 WRC gets shakedown in Finland

Filed under: Motorsports, Spy Photos, Europe, Videos, Hatchback, Hyundai, Off-Road, Racing

Hyundai i20 WRC testing in Finland

It’s always a good day when we get to post a video about rally racing. It’s even better when that video is of a new WRC competitor undergoing testing. This spy video shows Hyundai’s i20 WRC, a car that debuted nearly one year ago at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. It’s set to usher in Hyundai’s return to top-flight motorsports, and will do battle with the cars from Citroen, Ford and Volkswagen that are currently contesting the 2013 season.

This video, which shows the i20 testing on the notoriously tough Finnish rally stages, gives the impression that progress on the new WRC contender is going well. It certainly looks fast, and as with the vast majority of rally cars, it sounds absolutely wonderful (listen to some of those gun-shot-like backfires). Take a look below for the whole, glorious three minutes and 20 seconds of unadulterated rally noise, flying dirt and jumping.

Continue reading Hyundai i20 WRC gets shakedown in Finland

Hyundai i20 WRC gets shakedown in Finland originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorsports: Dutch rally duo die in WRC support event [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Europe, Videos

1980 Triumph TR7 at 2013 ADAC Rallye Deutschland

Tragedy stuck this weekend at the site of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland when a driver and co-driver team from the Netherlands were killed in a crash on Saturday. The incident occurred not in the headline World Rally Championship event, but in a classic support rally.

According to reports, Rob de Vos and Marcel Benning lost control of their 1980 Triumph TR7 (a car you can see in the brief tribute video below) as they flew over the infamous Gina jump on the Arena Panzerplatte section that was once used to test tanks. The WRC cars had already passed at that point, but officials canceled the next stage that was supposed to go over the same section again due to the tragedy.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and family that de Vos and Benning leave behind.

Continue reading Dutch rally duo die in WRC support event [w/video]

Dutch rally duo die in WRC support event [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 Aug 2013 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: VW agrees to halt next-gen rally car development to help others stay in WRC

Filed under: Motorsports, Hatchback, Volkswagen, Racing

Volkswagen Polo R WRC - dead on front view

Volkswagen has petitioned the FIA to hold on to the current specifications for cars in the World Rally Championship, according to Autosport.com. The move is evidently an effort to keep as many competitors in the sport as possible, despite the fact that using the current spec racers may actually hurt Volkswagen’s chances at winning. The three factory teams currently competing in the WRC are at the end of a three-year homologation cycle at the end of 2013, and new cars are expected to bow next year. But developing new racers could cost as much as $4.7 million.

That price tag would put M-Sport (which fields Ford racers) out of the WRC game for 2014 and would put Citroën participation in question as well. VW has already begun work on the next iteration of its Polo R WRC, and the hatch has nabbed four wins in six rounds this season. Now it appears that car won’t bow until at least 2015. The FIA has officially agreed to freeze homologation of new WRC cars until the end of next season.

VW agrees to halt next-gen rally car development to help others stay in WRC originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jun 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Volkswagen WRC program to lead to street-legal Polo R?

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Volkswagen, Rumormill

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Volkswagen Polo R WRC – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s been an on-again, off-again affair with rumors of a possible R version of the Volkswagen Polo. But according to the latest from the Old World, things are looking up for the prospective pocket rocket.

The change in fortunes come down, according to Autocar, to the launch of the Volkswagen Polo R WRC, the car with which the German automaker is preparing to mount its assault on the World Rally Championship. As you can see, the rally machine carries R branding, prompting the British publication to press VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg on the renewed possibility of a production Polo R hot hatch.

Hackenberg admitted such a vehicle is more likely with the launch of the WRC Polo, but that it wouldn’t arrive before 2013. As for specs, that’s all up to speculation. Autocar figures on a version of the Polo GTI’s 1.4-liter twin-charger four with over 200 horsepower, with or without the all-wheel-drive system being developed by Audi for the A1 built on the same platform. One way or another, we’ll be watching this development as it unfolds (or doesn’t).

Volkswagen WRC program to lead to street-legal Polo R? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volkswagen to contest WRC with Polo R in 2013 [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Hatchback, Volkswagen

volkswagen polo r wrc

Volkswagen Polo R WRC – Click above for high-res image gallery

Everyone wants to go rallying these days. Mini put the world on notice when it announced it was heading back into the WRC fray, and now Volkswagen wants to join that party. No longer content to watch its Touaregs blast across the vicious routes of the Dakar Rally, VW is bringing the Polo R WRC hot hatch to the World Rally Championship.

The all-wheel-drive Polo R WRC will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, which Volkswagen expects will produce around 300 horsepower. Volkswagen Motorsport has high hopes for its WRC Polo, and hopefully the team can draw on the success that VW experienced with rallying in the 1980s. In 1986, a Volkswagen GTI was the winning car in the newly formed Group A. Look for the Volkwagen Polo R WRC to try and capture some of that former glory starting with the 2013 WRC season. Hit the jump for VW’s official press release, as well as a teaser video. Hat tip to Chris!

Continue reading Volkswagen to contest WRC with Polo R in 2013 [w/video]

Volkswagen to contest WRC with Polo R in 2013 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mini’s WRC effort is hot to trot

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Crossover, Mini

mini john cooper works wrc car

Mini John Cooper Works WRC car in action – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Mini’s World Rally Championship team has some work ahead if it intends to live up to the brand’s historic rally credentials, but the post-jump video illustrates that Mini clearly has the tool needed for success.

Follow the jump to watch drivers Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke as they take the horns of the Mini John Cooper Works WRC car, which is based on the Countryman. Mini’s “cute and hip” aesthetic gives way to something a bit more badass when it’s attacking a rally circuit. You’ll hear no complaints from us. Follow the jump for one minute and 38 seconds of fast-paced video.

Gallery: Paris 2010: Mini Countryman WRC

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Mini’s WRC effort is hot to trot

Mini’s WRC effort is hot to trot originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 May 2011 13:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Videos: Mini has some fun with the Countryman WRC

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Mini

mini countryman wrc

Mini takes the Countryman WRC out for some spins – Click above to watch video after the jump

Mini is excited to get back to rally racing, and its hoping the new Countryman WRC will be a good tool for the job. The automaker has been all over the place to show off its pumped-up racer, and, thankfully for us, cameras were brought along the whole way.

We have five videos waiting for you after the jump. In the first three, driver Kris Meeke does his best Ken Block impersonation by tackling a mini (or is that Mini?) Gymkhana course. The other two videos show a bit of Mini’s racing history and give a look at the official launch of the Countryman WRC.

[Source: Youtube]

Continue reading Videos: Mini has some fun with the Countryman WRC

Videos: Mini has some fun with the Countryman WRC originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 20:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WRC Jordan Rally delayed due to political unrest, stormy seas and engine trouble

Filed under: Motorsports, Middle East

Sebastien Loeb

Sebastien Loeb drives the 2010 Jordan Rally

Mounting a rally is never easy to begin with. Organizing one in the Middle East amidst the greatest popular upheaval in the region’s considerable history, however, is another matter entirely. We recently reported on the potential effects which demonstrations and revolutions across the region could have on motorsport competition, and now it’s all come home to roost.

Only two months after protests forced the cancelation of the Bahrain Grand Prix, a number of unpredictable factors have caused the delay – but not the cancellation – of the WRC rally in Jordan. Although the Hashemite Kingdom itself has remained relatively stable, getting the cars and equipment there this year proved a unique hassle. Teams were cautioned against trying to go through the Suez Canal due to the situation in Egypt, and with protests kicking into high gear in Syria, Plan B was out, too. Organizers ended up shipping by sea from Italy to Israel, only to be faced by further setbacks.

Stormy weather reportedly dictated it unsafe for the ship to dock in Haifa – Israel’s northern port on the Mediterranean – leaving it stranded one kilometer offshore. When the harbor finally gave the all-clear for the ship to dock, one of its engines wouldn’t start, forcing tug-boats to bring it in and shutting down all traffic in the port in the process. The shipment was then delayed in customs and took fourteen hours to finally reach the Jordanian coast of the Dead Sea where the garages are being set up.

The rally is now set to begin on Friday, two days behind schedule, but ready to go nonetheless. Meanwhile, the ship has since been impounded by the Israeli ministry of transportation until its engine can be repaired, forcing organizers to make alternative arrangements for getting their cars and gear back to Italy for the Sardinia rally on May 5.

[Source: Autosport | Image: McKlein/Citroën]

WRC Jordan Rally delayed due to political unrest, stormy seas and engine trouble originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mini and Prodrive officially launch WRC team at Oxford

Filed under: Motorsports, Crossover, Mini, Off-Road, Racing

Mini JCW WRC

MINI John Cooper Works WRC – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s been a long time in the making, but after confirming their participation some eight months ago and unveiling the car in Monte Carlo for nostalgia’s sake, Mini and Prodrive have finally and officially launched their joint World Rally Championship effort at the Mini assembly plant in Oxford, England.

The team is starting off with a limited schedule in the WRC this year, where it will contest a number of rallies throughout the year, before taking on the likes of Ford and Citroën – which have won every drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship in the WRC for the past seven years – for the full championship in 2012.

The S2000-spec Mini Countryman rally car has already contested three lower-level regional rallies, winning the Rally dell’Adriatico in the Italian Gravel Rally Championship. 2009 IRC champion Kris Meeke and former Citroën WRC driver Dani Sordo will debut as Mini’s official works drivers at the Italian Rally in Sardegna next month.

We’ll be watching to see how they do, but for now you can follow the jump to read the full press release, and check out the images of the WRC-spec car at its debut in Oxford and the S2000-spec machine being put through its paces during Rally Portugal in the galleries below.

Gallery: MINI John Cooper Works WRC

Gallery: MINI John Cooper Works S2000

[Source: Mini]

Continue reading Mini and Prodrive officially launch WRC team at Oxford

Mini and Prodrive officially launch WRC team at Oxford originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Two-time WRC champ Gronholm takes day one victory at Global Rally Cross

Filed under: Motorsports, Hatchback, Ford, Racing

Global Rallyy Cross
Global Rally Cross at Irwindale Speedway – Click above to watch video after the jump

Global Rally Cross kicked off its inaugural even yesterday at Irwindale Speedway. Drivers raced in bracket-style competition on a mixture of dirt and gravel stages. Competitors each ran events in two and four-wheel-drive cars.

Marcus Gronholm sealed victory at the wheel of a 550-horsepower Ford Fiesta in the all-wheel-drive round, beating out Swedish star Michael Jernberg in second and Formula Drift superstar (and U.S. Top Gear host) Tanner Faust in third.

Gronholm’s victory shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who watched him drive WRC cars in the early 2000s. For his part, Gronholm wasn’t too shocked either, and attributed his victory in part to experience with motocross. Check out video of the event after the jump.

[Source: Rally Buzz via Jalopnik]

Continue reading Video: Two-time WRC champ Gronholm takes day one victory at Global Rally Cross

Video: Two-time WRC champ Gronholm takes day one victory at Global Rally Cross originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Mar 2011 09:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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