Thursday | 15 Jan 2015

First view: VW's new generation Polo R

Volkswagen today (Thursday) launched a sporty-looking second generation of its Polo R WRC with which it will challenge for a hat-trick of drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.

The German squad is the last of the major teams to unveil the car with which it will launch its campaign at Rallye Monte-Carlo (22 - 25 January).

The most noticeable aspect is its revised livery. The front half has changed from white to dark blue, while white and light blue stripes merge into a white rear, which sports a new wing.

The biggest technical innovation is the hydraulic gearbox, which new regulations mean can be operated by a paddle shift on the steering column.

Many of the carryover components from the 2014 car have been fine-tuned with the aim of making the package simpler, lighter and stronger.

The new Polo R will debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo

Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala completed their final testing for Monte-Carlo this week and double world champion Ogier is confident the new Polo R will be as successful as its predecessor.

“We have done a lot of testing and we drivers have worked very closely with the engineers,” he said. “We put a lot of effort into developing the new paddle shift, which represents real progress.

“It will be exciting to see how we fare against other teams. The tests have gone well so far, our engineers have done a good job,” said Ogier.

Andreas Mikkelsen will remain in the 2014 car for the first four rounds. His first appearance in the 2015 version will be at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (21 - 21 May).

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