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CarWale Track Day 2019: Volkswagen Vento race car

Introduction

The Volkswagen Vento doesn’t need an introduction but the car you see on these pages does, because it is anything but a normal family sedan. Christened the Gentleman’s race car, this track specific Vento has a single seat and gets the 1.8-litre direct injection turbo petrol engine from the Ameo Cup car that makes 240bhp. Those horses are put through a race spec sequential 6-speed transmission, which can be controlled via the steering mounted paddles. Then there is the suspension which is extremely stiff and runs on 2-way adjustable KW dampers and Eibach springs. Braking is via an all-round disc setup. Although running on steel discs, the Galfer brakes proved to be fade-free with a positive pedal feedback. The dash of the Vento remains, but everything else has been stripped off. There is just a driver seat that is really a racing bucket and besides that, a rollcage and six point harness for safety. Then there are those slick tyres which are sticky, durable and get the best out of this potent package. All this has resulted in a race car that is a huge amount of fun and capable of posting laptimes that can give even the mighty AMGs nightmares.

0-100-0kmph

 
The Vento Track Day car was never meant for outright straight-line performance but with 240bhp on tap and just 1.2-tonnes of weight to haul around, we expected the Vento to do well in this test. It did prove to be fast but it could have gone even quicker with a fresher set of slick tyres. Nevertheless, it set a time of 9.2 seconds in the 0-100-0kmph test. Thanks to the aggressive launch control and race spec sequential transmission, the Vento Race car reached 100kmph in a scant 6.41 seconds. The use of not-so-new tyres reflected in its braking performance. Despite having race ABS, this track car came to a halt in 39.22 metres, longer than the family friendly Civic and the Octavia.

Lap Time

The Vento Race car set a lap time of 1m58.30s which, by any yardstick and especially around the tight and technical MMRT race track, is fast. To put things into perspective, it went 20 seconds faster than the Polo TSi which we tested last year which is a lifetime in terms of lap time. Thanks to innumerable modifications this car is a proper track weapon. It registered higher corner speeds in nearly all the corners and it is physical too, as it pulled more than one G through every bend.

Conclusion

Having driven the Ameo Cup extensively, I was expecting the Vento Race Car to be fast yet easy to get to the limit, but I was so wrong. Where the Ameo Cup car has a hunkered down rear end, the Vento is extremely tail happy and if you are not careful, it can bite you real hard. This was even more apparent on cold tyres where the Vento snapped on me in the quick change of direction between C4 and C5 at MMST. On the hot lap with the tyres up to proper running temperature, the rear of the car felt more stable but in the left kink exiting C7 which generally is flat out, the Vento race car almost gave me a heart attack as the rear stepped out at almost 150kmph. Thanks to the 240bhp and front wheel drive layout, I was able to bring it back under control.


Where the Ameo Cup car is for novice drivers, the Vento race car isn’t for the faint hearted. It is fast, agile and if not treated right, it will spit you out. This car is yet another stellar creation by the people at Volkswagen Motorsport India.

Ameya Dandekar

Photos

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Volkswagen Vento Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Kolkata₹ 9.82 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 10.05 Lakhs onwards
Mumbai₹ 10.44 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 10.49 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 10.46 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 10.69 Lakhs onwards
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