The new Ameo Cup racecar for VW’s one-make cup series has some very tempting specs, and marks the continuing evolution of India’s best touring car around.
Just looking at the specifications of the soon-to-be-unleashed-in-anger Ameo Cup racecar by Volkswagen Motorsport India are enough to tell that this is no minor upgrade. And that’s before you realize that this car is likely to be more nimble than the outgoing Vento Cup machine.
And just look at how far things have come for VW’s efforts to create a single-make cup series with the purpose of brand-building and technology showcase.
Sure, the Polo Cup was originally supposed to be a springboard for Indian racers to make it to VW supported cup series and then onwards in Europe. But it soon became clear that coming from India was too much of a disadvantage for most unless you are experienced to the year-round professional approach to racing in Europe.
Still, that clearly has not stopped VW from pushing itself as far as the race car itself and the technology goes. For those who can afford the season budget and damage deposits, the prospect of racing in the Ameo Cup is a tempting one indeed.
Speaking to VW Motorsport India head Sirish Vissa, it was revealed that the Ameo Cup car’s development was done in a step-by-step process that started with parts from the new car being put into the Vento Cup car before eventually moving along to putting together an entirely new race car.
The car shares its body with the road version of the Ameo while it borrows the engine from the GTI. It comes with a turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine that displaces 1798cc and produces 202bhp and 320Nm.
Vissa revealed that the engine was actually capable of a lot more, however. “If we wanted to we could fit in bigger turbos and push the power past 300bhp,” Vissa told autoX. “However, we are also looking for a certain amount of reliability for the car as we will have to complete many races with the same parts so as to try and keep the costs in control.”
This engine is mated to a 6-speed sequential gearbox with steering-mounted paddle shifters. The ECU (Engine Control Unit) is completely new and has been independently calibrated and mapped to suit the new engine and the gearbox control system. The Ameo Cup race car is running a whole new suspension setup along with tyres that have been specifically developed for this car.
It shares its wheelbase with the Polo and is shorter than the Vento Cup race car. Various components of the Ameo Cup Car such as the fire extinguisher, battery, and the windshield washer tank have been reorganised to evenly distribute the weight of the chassis and achieve the progressive handling that its predecessor offered through a longer wheelbase. The new race car has different springs at the front and the rear along with torsional beam axle at the rear. This has helped the car keep positive characteristics of the Vento Cup race car alongside the very dynamic and responsive nature of Ameo Cup car’s shorter wheelbase. The valving of the KW dampers has also been developed to suit the new MRF tyres along with the new 17” wheels which are lighter than the ones used previously.
The EA888 1.8 TSI engine on the Ameo Cup race car is the same as the one that powers the Volkswagen GTI but has been tuned to deliver an improved torque curve suited to the race track. MoTeC engine management system has been used to develop the engine in-house which is supported by a new light weight flywheel and clutch from Sachs Race Engineering. This package has been specifically designed for this car.
A 6-speed sequential gearbox from 3MO has also been developed to match the high torque output of the engine. This is a change from the 6 speed DSG used previously. An electro-magnetic actuator has been used in the new race car for quick gear changes. This actuator also comes with the added safety to keep the driver from accidentally changing down extra gears.
The Ameo Cup race car gets new racing brake pads with a better and progressive bite. The car will be running 334 mm ventilated discs at front while 232 mm discs at the rear.
For the first time, VW has built the car to manage the mapping and calibration of the engine, gearbox and shift actuator with the MoTeC M142 engine control unit (ECU). The ECU is paired with MoTeC C125 colour dash display and data logger which is capable of logging 120 MB and is also equipped with programmable shift lights. The Ameo Cup race car, unlike its predecessor lacks a fuse box and instead is fitted with MoTeC PDM 30 which carries out the power distribution on the new race machine and acts as a combination of the fuse box and body control module (BCM).
The Ameo Cup race car features a weld-in roll cage which is designed to optimize and enhance the safety of the driver along with chassis torsional rigidity. The roll cage extends from the front strut mounting tower to the rear damper mounts and is designed to the latest FIA specifications. The car is also equipped with seats and seatbelts from OMP racing while the fire suppression is handled by FIA approved SPA on-board extinguisher. The extinguisher and the main electrical cut-off are accessible from the inside as well as the outside of the car.
Now the only question is, when will we get to get our hands on one before the lucky racers get to play with it for an entire season?