Wed 07 Feb 2024

KMS tease ‘best rallycross car we’ve ever built’

Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS has thrown down the gauntlet to its World RX rivals, describing its new VW Polo combustion cars as ‘the best we’ve ever built’...

Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS has thrown down the gauntlet to its FIA World Rallycross Championship rivals ahead of the 2024 campaign, by describing its new VW Polo combustion cars as ‘the best we have ever built’.

The Kristoffersson Motorsport-run outfit has been the uncontested benchmark in World RX since the beginning of the series’ electric era in 2022, but this year, the team is facing a fresh challenge, with the reintroduction of ICE cars into the discipline’s top-flight – all running on sustainable fuels – as the revolutionary ‘Battle of Technologies’ begins. It is a challenge the crew is embracing and tackling head-on.

Led by long-standing engineer Richard Browne and with the knowledge and skills its mechanics gleaned from the Volkswagen Motorsport days, KMS is manufacturing two new Polos in its Arvika workshop to run alongside its existing electric beats. One is nearing completion and the other is not far behind, with testing planned towards the end of March once the weather in Sweden allows.

Outwardly not dissimilar to KMS’ trio of RX1e cars, the two combustion Polos conceal a 16V two-litre turbo underneath the bonnet – producing in excess of 580bhp – bolstered by the proven combination of MacPherson suspension struts and ZF three-way dampers. Unlike previous versions, the engine has been mounted transversally rather than longitudinally, while the driver’s seat is further back to improve the centre of gravity.

“There are no great secrets,” stressed six-time world champion, Johan Kristoffersson. “Every car has its weak points – the key is to limit them as much as possible. It’s taking care of the small details that ultimately makes the difference.”

Indeed, with all bases covered in terms of the two contrasting technologies, Team Principal Tommy Kristoffersson believes the squad has done everything it can to optimise its chances of defending both its Drivers’ and Teams’ World Championship crowns in 2024.

“This car is the product of all the experience and expertise that we have accumulated over the course of our previous projects,” the Swede told regional newspaper Nya Wermlands Tidningen (NWT).

“I am convinced that we have assembled here the most skilled engineers around – in every respect, they are the best in the business. With this project, we have been able to keep everybody in the team busy over the off-season, which is very important for KMS’ future, while Johan [Kristoffersson] and Ole-Christian [Veiby] both also contributed their feedback.

“Overall, we are confident this is the best rallycross car we have ever built. In terms of performance potential, I think it will be extremely similar to our RX1e car – the only real differences will come down to the grip level and surface of the various tracks we visit.

“Another benefit of building these two new cars is that with RX1e testing so restricted, there is a lot of knowledge that we can gain from testing with the combustion Polos that we can then transfer across to the electric cars. It’s reassuring to know that we can rely on both concepts – EV and ICE – in our bid to fight for the title again.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM