It’s mildly humid, with clear skies and track temperatures dialled down to “toasty” – not the usual setting for a track day at the Madras Motorsports Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai. The pit lane is decorated with an impressive, heavily decaled Volkswagen Polo, dubbed the “Winter Project”. It’s got a mid-rear-mounted, 1.8-litre turbo-petrol bristling with promise, anti-roll bars, foreboding looks that only one-off, wildcard prototypes tend to have – and, for the moment, it can’t be driven.
Not by delusional motoring hacks, anyway. It needs a trained hand, and Volkswagen’s got professional racers for the job. Volkswagen Motorsport India head Sirish Vissa and his team whipped up this Polo RX, literally, over the winter. And it’s this sort of proficiency that’s made it the only motor sport outfit in India to create an international-grade, FIA-certified race car and racing series.
It’s been ten years since VW Motorsport India became a reality. And to commemorate that, we’ve got every single race car created by it lined up in the hangar, ready to hit the track. This is what ultimate play dates are made of. It’s easy to trace the progression of the division, starting with hopping out of the silver age 1.6-litre Polo TDI, built for the first Polo Cup – front-heavy, no ABS but equipped with a bruiser of a diesel engine, with plenty of linear grunt. It’s also tail-happy en