There is a world premiere happing right now and under the spotlights is the next generation Volkswagen Polo R WRC. The company introduced the second gen motorsport car in Autostadt, Wolfsburg. At the same time, the team which will be racing with it has promised to successfully defend its titles in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The car is in top form, both technically and visually. It is based on the first generation Polo R WRC that was introduced in 2013.
The start of the career of the new WRC is on 22nd of January when it will compete in the iconic Rally Monte Carlo. The driving line-up for 2015 consists of the double world champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), and Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene (N/N).
The new race car has undergone intense development, both on the inside and the outside. Undoubtedly, it looks more dynamic and sporty than before, and it also features many technical innovations under the bonnet. Many details of the package have been further developed and improved. The main focus of this improvement was on efficiency, reliability and performance.
The new design livery is built up from blue and white, and in fact the exterior of the new car is the most striking change for the 2015 season. The white of the first gen model has given way to dark-blue. White and light-blue stripes see the dark-blue front merge into the white rear, which features a towering new rear wing.
Integrated in the new design are VW's partners in the World Rally Championship. You can see featured on the Polo those companies: Red Bull, lubricant partner Castrol, Volkswagen Financial Services, tyre partner Michelin, chassis and clutch specialist ZF Sachs, and supplier OMP.
More importantly, there have been changes made under the bonnet. For instance, there is new hydraulically activated gearbox, which is operated via a shift paddle on the steering column. This is the biggest innovation. Three quarters of last year's components were checked and many of them were improved. The aim was to make everything "simpler, lighter, and stronger".
2015 Season, FIA World Rally Championship (WRC):
- 22/01–25/01/2015 Rally Monte Carlo
- 12/02–15/02/2015 Rally Sweden
- 05/03–08/03/2015 Rally Mexico
- 23/04–26/04/2015 Rally Argentina
- 21/05–24/05/2015 Rally Portugal
- 11/06–14/06/2015 Rally Italy
- 02/07–05/07/2015 Rally Poland
- 30/07–02/08/2015 Rally Finland
- 20/08–23/08/2015 Rally Germany
- 10/09–13/09/2015 Rally Australia
- 01/10–04/10/2015 Rally France
- 22/10–25/10/2015 Rally Spain
- 12/11–15/11/2015 Rally Great Britain