Thursday, 15 January 2015

Rally - 2015 Polo R WRC

Ahead of the new WRC season which gets underway in Monte Carlo on the 22nd of this month, Volkswagen have revealed the second generation of the Polo R WRC. No technical details have been released as yet, these will be announced on Monday (19th) but for the moment, all that is being said is “three quarters of last year’s components were checked and many of them optimised, with the aim of making everything simpler, lighter, and stronger”. In other words this year’s will be more reliable as well as quicker.

Two things were apparent on the launch show-car apart from the new colour scheme and bodywork details and those were the new and bigger rear wing while inside the car the new hydraulically activated gearbox is operated by a paddle-shift system on the steering column.

S├ębastien Ogier commented:We have done a lot of testing and have worked very closely with the engineers. We put a lot of effort into developing the new shift paddle, which represents real progress. The tests have gone well so far, and our engineers have done a good job. The Polo R WRC is even better than it was before.”

Ominous words, with Jari-Matti Latvala adding: “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. I am not the only one to feel that way – S├ębastien and Andreas agree with me.”

An interesting note was added by Andreas Mikkelsen: “I will still be driving the 2014 Polo at the start of the season, and will not switch to the ‘new’ car until the Rally Portugal. However, that is no problem. After all, our world championship winning car has more than proven itself, and is certainly anything but slow.”

That will allow the team to compare the new car against the outgoing machine back to back in identical conditions.

Who’d bet against a third straight WRC title, eh?

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