Volkswagen Motorsport has unveiled the new Polo R WRC its official World Rally Championship drivers Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala will use throughout the 2015 season.[Not a valid template]
Fresh from a successful WRC season in which Volkswagen secured its second drivers title and constructor’s crown on the bounce, the company’s unveil in Autostadt, Wolfsburg came with a warning to rival teams that VW intends to do the double again in 2015. In 2015, the new Polo R WRC will take on 13 rallies across four continents, the first of which – the formidable Rallye de Monte Carlo – gets underway next weekend, the season-ending Rally GB takes place on 12 November.
Though the second generation Polo R WRC has undergone ‘intense further development, both on the inside and the outside’ according to Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development, few details have been released. All bar the hydraulically activated gearbox, which is operated via a shift paddle on the steering column. According to official material, this represents the ‘biggest innovation’ owing to being simpler, lighter and stronger. But again, details are limited. The most striking change however is the switch from white livery to dark-blue, Red Bull once again the primary sponsorship decal.
Since making his official debut in the Polo R WRC in 2013 (the year earlier he competed in a Volkswagen Motorsport-entered Skoda Fabia S2000), Sébastien Ogier has won all but eight of the 26 WRC events organised, five of which were won by VW teammate Jari-Matti Latvala, In two seasons, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai), Dani Sordo (Citroen) and nine-time WRC Sébastien Loeb are the only non-VW drivers to secure rally victory.