Polo of all time – the Polo R WRC.
05 May 2011 – VW AG, Wolfsburg, Germany: Volkswagen
announced today its entry in the World Rally Championship starting in
The concept Polo R WRC, the car with which Volkswagen
will compete from 2013 onwards, was unveiled by Volkswagen
Management Board Member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, together with Luca
de Meo, Head of Marketing of Volkswagen AG, and Volkswagen Motorsport
Director Kris Nissen.
Luca de Meo: “Almost exactly two years ago, in May
2009, the most recent model of the Polo was presented here in Sardinia.
Today we are proud to show you the hottest Polo of all time – the Polo R
The WRC offers
a highly competitive environment for VW.
For Kris Nissen and his team the World Rally
Championship entry marks a new commitment. “We look forward to this new
challenge and are working on this project with the same passion with which
we won the Dakar Rally in the past three years,” said Kris Nissen.
After three consecutive victories at the Dakar Rally,
Volkswagen has set itself new aims in top-calibre sport. With three car
corporations currently involved in the championship and global media
coverage, the WRC offers an attractive, highly competitive environment for
By 2013 the Wolfsburg-based brand will develop a
near-300-hp rally vehicle with a 1.6-litre TSI engine and four-wheel drive
based on the Polo.
The World Rally Championship offers the most diverse
technological challenge in worldwide car racing to the manufacturers
involved. Various types of ground have to be considered during the concept
design of a WRC vehicle such as all manner of gravel, scree, tarmac, ice,
snow and mud.
For the first
time, engines with a maximum displacement of 1,600 cc,
direct injection and turbochargers are prescribed.
The calendar this season features 13 WRC rounds on four
different continents. Hence a world rally car has to function in extremely
different climatic conditions, from the blazing heat of South America to
the icy ride in Scandinavia.
In addition, new technical rules have come into effect
in the WRC this year. For the first time, engines with a maximum
displacement of 1,600 cc, direct injection and turbochargers are
“The new Technical Regulations of the World Rally
Championship are an ideal fit for Volkswagen’s philosophy with respect
to the development of production vehicles,” says Dr Hackenberg, Member
of the Management Board of the Volkswagen Brand, Development Division. “Downsizing,
high efficiency and reliability are top priorities for our customers. The
timing of the WRC debut is optimal for Volkswagen. The big task of
engineering a vehicle that is competitive and capable of winning at a
large number of challenges holds great appeal for us.”
Volkswagen will prepare and enter the Polo R WRC as a
factory commitment. In doing so, the Wolfsburg-based squad can build on
structures which have been established over the past few years.
The World Rally Championship is a new ambitious aim for
the team that has won the “Dakar” in the past three years. “We can
draw on an experienced and proven squad which has done an outstanding job
in top-calibre sport in the past few years,” says Nissen. “Even though
the WRC is new territory for us and involves learning in many areas the
team already meets some important prerequisites now as it brings an
unwavering professional attitude and resolve to deliver absolute
perfection to this commitment.”
Volkswagen looks back on a small yet impressive rally
tradition. Production-based vehicles from Wolfsburg celebrated rally
racing successes in the middle end of the 1980s. The most important one:
in 1986, the Swede Kenneth Eriksson and his German co-driver Peter
Diekmann in the Volkswagen Golf GTI 16V claimed the world champion’s
title in the newly incepted Group A.
In addition, Volkswagen vigorously promoted young rally
talent through the Golf Rally Cup. The fielding of the Volkswagen Polo R
WRC from 2013 onwards closes the loop: today’s WRC vehicles are still
based on the philosophy of the Group A introduced back then, which enables
rally sport to be conducted with vehicles based on production models.