Race cars are meant for the race track and they are at home in that environment. What happens when we take a daily use, normal road car to the track? We did just that with the Volkswagen Ameo Diesel at the MMSC Irungattukottai Racetrack at Chennai last week. Let’s explain a bit more on Volkswagen’s role in bringing up the levels of motorsports in India. The German carmaker has a separate motorsports wing called the Volkswagen Motorsports. They had the Polo Cup, Vento Cup and now the Ameo Cup rolling out for the last few seasons. The cars they race are specially modified for racing purpose, and also come powered with the 1.8L TSi Petrol engine apart from a long list of race modifications that they carry on them before finally hitting the track.
The Race Ready Ameo Cup cars come with 205 PS of power and 320 Nm of torque, and come with the six speed sequential gearbox, modified suspension, a roll cage, racing seats, track tyres to name a few of the modifications. Volkswagen’s Motorsport wing not only is helping build a better today for Motorsports in India, but also serves as the perfect platform for the brand to showcase what really the brand cars are capable of. This becomes the proving ground for them and they have been proving their bit all these years very nicely.
Ok. Enough spoken about the Volkswagen Cup cars. We were in Chennai to get our hands on the regular Ameos that you or we can buy from any Volkswagen dealership in the city. We had the 1.5 TDi Diesel Ameo lined up on the track. As with all track days, we were initially given a briefing on the do’s and dont’s on the race track, and also got a trial lap with the Volkswagen instructors at the wheel around the track to know it better. This always helps as you know when to speed up, when to brake, you know the sharp bends and corners etc.
We had the lead car driven by the instructor which was the gorgeous Passat and the lovely stock Ameos behind it. You do get a bit nervous just before this actually starts, and you have to win over your nerves. Off and away were the cars for the first lap. Having driven the Ameo on regular road conditions I knew this car was with loads of power and being a Volkswagen, this car was safe as hell and would never even think of ditching me in tricky conditions. This thought boosted my confidence further.
Getting out of the pit lane, I pushed the car and soon enough we were cruising at 155kmph into the first bend with the Ameo handling it very nicely. Coming out of it in sheer style gave a lot of boost to my already swelling confidence. Building up speed, I hit the next corner. The brilliance of the Ameo shines out with the amount of stability and sturdiness the car shows handling it. The 7-speed DSG gear box works wonderfully well with upshifts and downshifts, superfast and smooth. The stock Ameo has enough power of 110PS and 250Nm of torque under its belt to take on the track in unique style and linear power delivery.
Lap 2 and we were soaring with confidence and the excitement was at its highest. The Ameo loved the fact that we were pushing it further, the sheer fun and pleasure that we experienced during cornering and the bends still brings a smile to my face as I type this experience story.
We all know that Volkswagen cars are very well built, but what was experienced at the track was something that we never had before on the stock cars. The limit that they can be pushed to and the pleasure that it is to drive them and yes, the safety too, that they offer. I left the track back to the airport highly impressed with the way the Volkswagen Ameo felt… very engaging to drive and performed extremely well and that too in stock condition and felt at home even in the challenging track conditions.