Archive | WRC

26 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Un, deux, trois… Third Rally Monte-Carlo win for Ogier and Volkswagen

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Rally Monte-Carlo: Ogier/ingrassia

Regulation limitations meant that defending 2015 FIA World Rally Champion Volkswagen Motorsport may not have changed much about its all-conquering 2016 Polo R WRC or its driver line-ups, but there was evidently little need to – reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier took his third win at this season’s opener, the 2016 Rally Monte-Carlo from 21-24 January.

Legendary event
Ogier’s win at the legendary event meant that it was his and co-driver Julien Ingrassia’s 33rd career victory – they join an esteemed line-up of three-time Monte winners including Sébastien Loeb, Tommi Mäkinen, Sandro Munari, and Walter Röhrl. The 318bhp four-wheel drive Polo R WRC meanwhile takes it place among the Monte’s three-win great cars, the Citroën Xsara, Lancias Stratos and Delta, Mitsubishi Lancer, and the Porsche 911.

The Polo R WRC is also the most successful car in rally history, thanks to its impressive win ratio of 87.5 per cent – that equates to 35 victories from 40 rallies. The 430Nm motorsport supermini which accelerates from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds has minimal changes for 2016, with only a stronger front sub-frame and suitably beefed-up rear axle wishbones, along with modified engine pistons.

The 2016 Rally Monte-Carlo started well for Ogier, the Frenchman coming second in the shakedown, his team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala fifth and sixth respectively. Notching up the fastest time on stage one, Ogier and Ingrassia ended the first day in second place, behind the trailblazing British Citröen driver, Kris Meeke.

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13 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Finely tuned with detail improvements: Volkswagen unveils 2016 Polo R WRC

2016 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Remember the 2015 unveiling of the new Polo R WRC at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg headquarters? The trio of driver crews and key personnel were all present and correct to pull the covers off the dark blue and white-liveried 2015 World Rally Championship challenger. No such glitz for 2016: just a press release and a photo which doesn’t give too much of the slightly different livery away.

‘Gentle evolution’
Volkswagen Motorsport claim that ‘the most successful car in WRC history is now even better’, though. With a whole host of new regulations due in 2017, few changes could be made for 2016, and the German motorsport outfit states that the 2016 Polo R WRC is a ‘gentle evolution’ with a few systematic improvements.

Those changes are largely to improve the reliability of the three-title-winning car, with the ‘2.2’ version of the second-generation Polo R WRC boasting increased stability. A strengthened front subframe is joined by similarly beefed-up rear-axle wishbones on gravel-specification cars. The 1.6-litre turbocharged 318bhp engine sees modified pistons.

Externally, we’ll have to wait until the first round of the 2016 series, the Rally Monte Carlo (21-24 January) to see the full extent of the livery changes, but the front of the new Polo R WRC sees more white areas return – as in 2013 and 2014 when the whole body shell was largely devoid of colour. Otherwise, the official photo seen here does little to expose how similar the 2016 car will appear when compared to its 2015 predecessor.

‘Fine-tuning, detailed improvements’
‘We are about to defend our world championship title for the third time in a row,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. ‘The opposition has not been sleeping, and has modified its cars for the new season. So have we: the changes to the Polo R WRC are basically fine-tuning and detailed improvements to make the world championship-winning car even better.

‘You have to bear in mind that the regulations in the World Rally Championship only allow a few modifications within a homologation period. Thanks to this stability, it is possible to challenge for the title for several years with an existing car, making only detailed improvements. That is precisely our goal for 2016.’

The 2016 FIA World Rally Championship will include 14 rounds (one additional rally over the 2015 calendar), with China added and the Rally Great Britain moving from its traditional championship closer position to become the penultimate round – the final round in 2016 will be Rally Australia in November.

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08 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

‘Drive’ a Polo R WRC with Volkswagen’s new ‘Race Anywhere’ rally game app

Volkswagen Race Anywhere app

Hot on the heels of its third consecutive World Rally Championship driver and team titles and just ahead of the 2016 Rally Monte Carlo, Volkswagen has made the rally-winning Polo R WRC available for everyone to drive – on a smartphone or mobile tablet device.

In-app track editor
An iOS version is available to download from the Apple App Store for free, and the company states that ‘the app is an entirely new interpretation of classical racing games’. How? Drivers can drive Polos on tracks that they have designed using the in-app track editor. While not exactly groundbreaking, it adds another element of interactivity.

The track editor uses photos taken on the player’s smartphone to plan individual tracks with a choice of asphalt, gravel, mud and snow surfaces. Four pre-loaded routes offer practice laps and ‘races’, with the choice of Polo, Polo GTI or Polo R WRC cars to ‘drive’. Speed boosts and drifts are part of the challenge of the game, as players must choose the right time to go sideways when they are going faster.

An Android version will be available from Google Play ‘in the near future’ according to the German company, while social media platform Facebook also allows players to challenge friends as well as share their best results. UK enthusiasts and Polo R WRC fans can download the ‘Race Anywhere’ app here:

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31 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The PoloDriver review of 2015

It’s been another busy year for the Volkswagen Polo. The model has celebrated its 40th birthday with an exhibition of rare models at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, and the revised fifth-generation Polo range has been completed with the addition of new BlueMotion TSI and GTI models.

On the asphalt and gravel stages of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship, the Polo has, like 2013 and 2014, once again come out on top. Just like last year, the Polo R WRC has won 12 events out of 13, taking the Manufacturers’ Championship title for Volkswagen Motorsport and has also carried Frenchmen Sébastien Ogier the Julien Ingrassia to their third consecutive Drivers’ Championship prize.

Other Polo-based motorsport series have also continued around the globe, with Wolfsburg’s small car taking an even larger presence in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, as well as being a track machine in many countries. Here, we round up the Polo’s biggest achievements in 2015. (Bold entries are illustrated by the picture above that particular month.)

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC unveiled in Wolfsburg


– Polo and Vento help Volkswagen India achieve record 2014 production figures
– Milltek Sport cat-back twin 80mm exhaust system launched for Polo R WRC road car
– Uprated Polo GT and new Polo GTI under consideration for India
– Volkswagen Motorsport unwraps second-generation Polo R WRC
– New petrol-powered 1.2-litre Cross Polo for India
– Indian-only Volkswagen Polo R-Cup series makes way for Vento Cup in 2015
– Our cars: 2001 Polo GTI – report eleven
– 2015 Polo R WRC makes dream debut at Rally Monte Carlo with Volkswagen 1-2-3
– Polo is the second best-selling car in Europe
– Polo is the eighth best-selling car in the UK.

1981 Volkswagen Polo C Formel E featured a rear window spoiler to improve aerodynamics


– launches new model profile series: the eco Polos

– Sébastien Ogier sweeps to spectacular 2015 Rally Sweden win
– Our cars: 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI – report one
– Sheldon van der Linde hat-trick at 2015 Engen Volkswagen Cup opener
– Refreshed Polo hatchback heads to the Philippines
– Volkswagen does the double: Golf and Polo still Europe’s top sellers.

KW Automotive announce ST suspension kits for 2013 Volkswagen Polo R WRC

– Volkswagen India launches the special edition Vento Magnific
– Sébastien Ogier celebrates third 2015 WRC victory with Rally Mexico win
– KW Automotive launches coilover suspension kit for Polo R WRC
– Volkswagen Sweden backs two teams in 2015 World Rallycross series assault
– Polo GT TDI wins Budget Driver’s Car of the Year at the Indian Zeegnition Auto Awards 2015
– Vento DSG wins Auto Bild India Golden Steering Wheel award
– Polo wins Carbuyer 2015 Best Small Car award
– Polo is the sixth best-selling car in the UK.

Techno Classica 2015: 1975 Volkswagen Polo


– Volkswagen celebrates 40 years of the Polo at Techno Classica 2015

– Volkswagen South Africa launches the new 2015 141kW Polo GTI
– Zulu and Arries celebrate Polo S2000 podium position at 2015 Sasol Rally
– drives the 2015 189bhp 6C Polo GTI
– Retirements force Volkswagen out of podium places at Rally Argentina
– Polo is the sixth best-selling car in the UK.

2015 Volkswagen Polo S2000, Secunda Rally: Zulu/Auffray

– Johan Kristoffersson scores maiden win at World RX of Portugal
– Toomas Heikkinen highest-placed Polo driver at World RX of Hockenheim
– Volkswagen Australia issues recall for 2015 Polo 1.2 TSI models
– Gugu Zulu scores Volkswagen Sasolracing result at Secunda Motor Rally
– Toomas Heikkinen wins World RX of Belgium
– Polo is the seventh best-selling car in the UK.

2015 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Eclipse


– Our cars: 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI – report two
– Johan Kristoffersson puts Polo on the podium at World RX of Great Britain
– Revised Polo saloon for India and Russia unveiled
– Latvala heads Volkswagen podium lock-out at Rally Portugal
– Volkswagen South Africa announces Polo Vivo Eclipse special edition
– Ogier snatches third Sardinian Volkswagen victory at 2015 Rally Italy
– Polo is 500,000th car produced at Volkswagen India factory
– Volkswagen Australia recalls refreshed fifth-generation Polo for seat issue
– Johan Kristoffersson finishes fourth at World RX of Germany
– Tommy Rustad takes Euro RX win
– Polo is the eighth best-selling car in the UK.



– Toomas Heikkinen sweeps to fourth at World RX of Sweden
– Webcon reintroduces 1043cc carburettor kit for 1981-1985 Polo and Derby
– Volkswagen Australia realigns Polo range with 2016 model year upgrades
– Volkswagen Polo scoops Auto Express Supermini of the Year 2015 award
– ‘40 Years Polo’ exhibition opens at AutoMuseum Volkswagen
– Club Polo 2015 Polo Social event celebrates 40 years of the Polo.



– Volkswagen’s Ogier and Mikkelsen take one-two at Rally Poland
– HG Motorsport unveils 260bhp 6C Polo GTI
– Volkswagen Polo’s 40th anniversary celebrated with ‘Original’ limited edition model
– Sheldon van der Linde does the Engen Volkswagen Cup double at Zwartkops
– Polo is the fifth best-selling car in the UK.


– Polo Trophy special edition launched in Malaysia
– Volkswagen wins Rally Australia; takes WRC titles for third consecutive year
– Johan Kristoffersson’s Polo RX second at World RX of Spain
– Podium success for Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo S2000s at Toyota Cape Dealer Rally
– Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal breaks
– Polo is the fifth best-selling car in the UK.

5000,000th South African-built Volkswagen Polo

– Polo BlueMotion TSI completes Volkswagen South Africa new Polo range
– Volkswagen India recalls 389 Polo models due to handbrake defect
– Latvala and Anttila take Polo R WRC to victory in Rally Spain
– Volkswagen India launches limited edition Polo Exquisite and Vento Highline Plus
– 1.2-litre TDI Polo engine also caught up in ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal
– Revised Polo Sedan launched by Volkswagen South Africa
– ABT Sportsline celebrates Polo’s 40th birthday with 230bhp upgrade
– 500,000th Polo produced at Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory
– Andreas Mikkelsen claims maiden WRC win at Rally Spain
– Polo is the seventh best-selling car in the UK.

2015 Volkswagen Polo Sedan

– Revised petrol-only Volkswagen Polo Sedan launched in Argentina
– Our cars: 2001 Polo GTI – report twelve
– Sébastien Ogier scores hat-trick and eighth 2015 WRC win at 2015 Rally Great Britain
– Selected Polo TDI and TSI models affected in Volkswagen CO2 emissions issue
– Polo Vivo remains number one best-seller in South Africa; new Street model launched.

2015 Volkswagen Allstar range

– Volkswagen Vento rated a five-star car in Latin NCAP creash tests
– Volkswagen Motorsport takes first, second and third 2015 WRC drivers’ titles
– Volkswagen Polo R WRC awarded Autosport Rally Car of the Year
– Our cars: 2013 Polo R-Line – report four
– Polo Allstar special edition launched
– Polo ends 2015 as the sixth best-selling car in the UK.

It’s once again been a busy Polo year for Volkswagen and also for all here at PoloDriver. We would like to thank the loyal readers and followers who have helped make the year another fantastically enjoyable one, and hope that you’ll enjoy the developments and stories coming to the website in 2016, which will include full coverage of the 40 Years Polo exhibition at AutoMuseum Volkswagen.

[Click on the ‘Polo 2009-’, ‘WRC’ and ‘Motorsport’ tags in the category drop-down list in the right-hand sidebar of the website to see all entries pertaining to the revised fifth-generation Polo, Polo R WRC, and Polo motorsport activity respectively. Choose other category or month sections for relevant entries.]

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09 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Polo R WRC and Volkswagen rally drivers celebrated with end of season awards

2015 Volkswagen Polo R WRC: Sébastien Ogier and Julien ingrassia at FIA Prize-giving Gala

The Volkswagen Polo R WRC and its pace-setting drivers have been collecting pre-Christmas presents in the form of awards that celebrate the third and most profitable Volkswagen Motorsport World Rally Championship year to date.

2015 FIA Prize-giving Gala
First, the Volkswagen Motorsport team and Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia received their trophies for their 2015 World Rally Championship manufacturer and drivers’ titles at the FIA Prize-giving Gala in Paris. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila as well as and Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene also picked up their awards for finishing second and third overall respectively in the 2015 drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships.

Overall, the Volkswagen WRC team had 12 wins and 26 podium finishes in 2015, with each driver pairing taking at least one win (Mikkelsen and Fløene scored their first at Rally Spain) and stepping on to the podium at least seven times.

2015 Autosport Awards
Ogier and the Polo R WRC were also recognised at the 2015 Autosport Awards, collecting the Rally Driver and Rally Car of the Year titles respectively. The statistics are truly impressive. Sebastian Ogier (who collected the Autosport award for the third consecutive time since 2013) amassed 263 championship points in 2015, won eight events and was 80 points ahead of his nearest rival, team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

The Polo R WRC meanwhile (again, a third Autosport award winner) has won 34 out of 39 events, scored 12 back-to-back wins, and taken the same number of victories in both 2014 and 2015. The three Polo R WRCs notched up a total distance of 11,832 kilometres at high speed in 2015, while Volkswagen Motorsport drivers won 159 out of 231 fastest stage times in addition to 12 out of 13 power stage victories.

Ola Fløene departs VW
Just after the ceremonies, in a shock announcement, it was made public that Ola Fløene will leave Volkswagen Motorsport in 2016 to join M-Sport Ford and be co-driver for Mads Østberg.

The 46 year-old has co-driven for Andreas Mikkelsen for a number of years off and on, the the pair won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in both 2011 and 2012. The partnership also achieved 13 podium finishes and 21 rallies in 2014 and 2015.

Sitting beside Mikkelsen in 2016 will be Anders Jæger, who moves up from the Junior WRC category where he was in charge of pace notes for Polo RX driver Ole Christian Veiby. The
26 year-old not only shares his age with Mikkelsen but also his Norwegian nationality and has form with his compatriot, acting as co-driver on Volkswagen Motorsport test drive events in Sweden.

2016 Rally Monte Carlo
As with the previous seasons, we at PoloDriver have enjoyed watching the many battles, stages and moments of drama within the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship. Our highlights include the Polo finally winning Rally Germany as well as Andreas Mikkelsen’s first WRC event win on the Spanish round of the series – it was a long time coming!

We wish the Volkswagen Motorsport team all the best of the season and also for 2016, when the first event, Rally Monte Carlo, kicks off on 22-24 January.

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