Volkswagen Polo GT TDI #WallpaperWednesday
"Sandakphu is in the Himalayas, except not in the Himalayas we keep running to for every driving adventure. This is the highest peak in West Bengal, just north of Darjeeling, and on a clear day you can see four of the five highest peaks in the world — Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu. This is the so-called Land of Land Rover. Literally ever since Land Rover made the first Land Rover these 4x4s have been the only thing capable of plying this narrow rock trail to ferry locals, forest officials, planters and their produce, and trekkers who couldn’t be bothered to walk all the way up"
"That’s the challenge. No, not using a parachute, but driving the Polo on the Sandakphu trail. The idea is to see how far the Polo can go on the 4×4 trail. The idea is not to diss any 4×4, I must clarify. It’s to put a car to its ultimate test — a test of strength, power, durability, safety, and the chops of the driver behind the ’wheel — and discover just what a car we’ve praised for so long can do."
"The Polo, it has nothing. With only FWD the wheels are spinning so I’m now using momentum to make it up the steep and tight hairpins, also discovering the inside rear wheel likes to get a bit of air. It all ties in to what we discovered when we first built the Polo for rallying — the body shell is so torsionally rigid it didn’t even need a front strut brace; it didn’t need any extra stiffness."
"At a small hamlet a local comes up and asks if the Polo is a ‘four wheel gaari’ the local lingo for four-wheel drive. When I say no he’s shocked. Tashi, our Landie driver says he can recall only one other car that has gotten all the way up here, an Omni that the taxi association of Darjeeling guys pushed and brought up here in response to a challenge from Sandakphu’s Land Rover drivers’ association. Come to think of it, the Polo is possibly the only FWD car to get up here."