VW Polo R WRC-03

Volkswagen has unveiled the new Polo R WRC, and it looks really good. The second-gen rally car’s mission will be to defend its titles in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – VW completed a clean sweep of all titles when the Polo R WRC made its debut in 2013, before repeating the feat last season.

“The new Polo R WRC has undergone intense further development, both on the inside and the outside. Not only more dynamic and sporty, our engineers have also been working meticulously on technical innovations under the bonnet and have improved many detailed aspects of the package that has been so successful for the past two years,” said Dr Heinz-Jakob Neußer, VW board member for technical development.

“The focus of this further development was on efficiency, reliability and performance. We can hardly wait to see the new Polo R WRC in Monte Carlo and at the other twelve rallies on four continents,” he added.

VW Polo R WRC-07

New ideas under the bonnet include the hydraulically activated gearbox, which is operated via a shift paddle on the steering column. Besides that, three quarters of last year’s components were checked and many of them optimised, with the aim of making everything “simpler, lighter, and stronger”.

The most striking change to the Polo R WRC for the 2015 season is how it looks. The front of the car is in dark blue; the rear, with a towering rear wing, in white. Sponsor Red Bull’s distinctive trademark is very prominent on the bonnet and sides, which also display logos of lubricant partner Castrol, Volkswagen Financial Services, tyre partner Michelin, chassis and clutch specialist ZF Sachs, and supplier OMP.

No change in the driving line-up for 2015: double world champions Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and team- mates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene will roll down the starting ramp of the first special stage of the year at the Rallye Monte Carlo on January 22.