Having dominated the World Rally Championship in the past two years with the Polo R WRC, clinching both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles, VW unveiled its second generation a week before the season opener.
The most obvious change is the new Red Bull livery, which goes from blue up front to white in the back. Also, the new Polo R WRC features new headlights, as per the production car, a new rear wing and a host of improvements under the skin.
“Not only does it look even more dynamic and sporty than it did before, but our engineers have also been working meticulously on technical innovations under the bonnet and improved many detailed aspects of the package that has been so successful for the past two years”, said Dr. Henz-Jakob Neusser, VW’s Board Member for Technical Development.
The company says a new, hydraulically activated gearbox, which is operated via steering wheel-mounted paddles, is the main innovation. In addition, three quarters of last year’s car components were checked and many of them were optimized to make everything “simpler, lighter and stronger”, since the focus in developing the new car was on efficiency, reliability and, of course, performance.
“I am very optimistic that the new car will get off to just a good a start as its predecessor”, said reigning champion Sebastien Ogier. “We have done a lot of testing and put a lot of effort into developing the new shift paddle, which represents real progress. The Polo R WRC is even better than it was before.”
VW will compete in the 2015 season, which kicks off on January 22 with the Monte Carlo rally, with three cars. Its driving line-up remains the same, with Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miika Anttila and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene.