Ahead of the 2015 Monte Carlo Rally next week, Volkswagen Motorsport pulled the covers off the second-generation Polo R WRC today in Wolfsburg. The car will contest the 2015 World Rally Championship. While full technical details will be released next week, the new 318bhp Polo R WRC has a paddle-operated hydraulically activated gearbox among its technological highlights.
The most striking difference between VW’s new rally weapon and the 2014 car is the external livery. Still keeping the blue and white colours of Volkswagen Motorsport, the new Polo R WRC’s livery also centres on its sponsors.
The dark blue of Red Bull dominates the front end, while paler blue bars fade into a white rear end, visually referencing the outgoing car. A new larger rear wing dominates the area above the rear window. Mysteriously, there are no ‘R’ badges on the car at all.
Volkswagen Motorsport states that around 75 per cent of the components used in the 2014 Polo R WRC have been further optimised for the new car, with the aim of making everything ‘simpler, lighter, and stronger’.
‘We have improved many detailed aspects of the package that has been so successful for the past two years. The focus of this further development was on efficiency, reliability and performance.’
World rally champion Sébastien Ogier was excited with his new steed: ‘I am very optimistic that the new car will get off to just as good a start as its predecessor. We have done a lot of testing and we drivers have worked very closely with the engineers. We put a lot of effort into developing the new shift paddle, which represents real progress.’
Volkswagen number two driver Jari-Matti Latvala was equally revved up: ‘The new car feels really good, and we are ready for the new season – at last. We will be using the shift paddle on the steering wheel to change gear this year, and I really like it. On the whole, the new Polo is faster and even better than the 2014 car.’
Ogier and Latvala will line up at the start in Monte Carlo with the new-for-2015 car, while VW’s number three driver Andreas Mikkelsen will field the new and improved Polo R WRC from Rally Portugal, the fourth round of the 2015 World Rally Championship.