Myths and Legends: from the VW Polo R WRC to the never born WRC Plus

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

In 2012, Volkswagen introduced a rally version of its fifth-generation Polo, called the Polo Super 2000, designed specifically to compete in the WRC’s Super 2000 class.

The Volkswagen Polo has left an indelible mark on the rally world, embodying the essence of high-level competition since its introduction to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2012. The fifth-generation Polo marked the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen in motorsport, with a series of developments and successes that cemented its reputation as one of the most formidable rally cars in the world.

After Volkswagen’s withdrawal from rally competitions, the Polo GTI R5 made its debut at the 2018 Rally Catalunya. Based on the Polo VI GTI, it was homologated in the R5 group and produced exclusively for sale and use by private teams in various national rally championships and the WRC-2.

The Volkswagen Polo, a globally renowned compact car, carries with it a rich history of innovation, reliable performance, and distinctive design that has won over millions of hearts worldwide. Its name, derived from the sport of the same name, suggests dynamism and agility, traits reflected in the DNA of this compact car.

In 1975, the first generation of the Volkswagen Polo made its debut, paving the way for an automotive icon that would redefine the B-segment over the years. Since then, the Polo has continued to evolve, spanning five generations of innovation and technological progress. In 2017, the sixth series carried on its legacy of excellence, offering a blend of refined style, efficient performance, and cutting-edge technology.

Classified in the B-segment, the Volkswagen Polo occupies a prominent position in the German automaker’s lineup. It sits above the city car up!, offering more space and comfort, while positioning itself below the renowned Golf, striking a perfect balance between practicality and performance. This strategic position in the market gives it a unique appeal, making it a popular choice for those seeking a versatile car suitable for any situation.

The design of the Volkswagen Polo is a blend of elegance and practicality. The sleek and sinuous lines give it a modern and stylish appearance, while distinctive Volkswagen brand elements add a touch of class. Inside, the spacious and well-designed cabin offers comfort and practicality, with high-quality materials and an intuitive instrument panel that puts the driver at the center of the driving experience.

From Super 2000 to WRC

In 2012, Volkswagen introduced a rally version of its fifth-generation Polo, called the Polo Super 2000, designed specifically to compete in the Super 2000 class of the WRC. This car underwent significant modifications to comply with the FIA’s stringent safety regulations and benefit from significant aerodynamic improvements. Equipped with a naturally aspirated inline 4-cylinder 2000 cm³ engine, the Polo Super 2000 delivered an impressive 272 hp, ensuring outstanding performance on every terrain.

2013 marked a significant turning point for the Polo in the WRC, with the introduction of the Polo R WRC. This new incarnation of the car adopted a turbocharged 1.6-liter TFSI 4-cylinder engine, increasing power to around 300 hp and offering even more spectacular performance. With Sébastien Ogier behind the wheel, the Polo R WRC dominated the championship from 2013 to 2016, winning four consecutive world titles and solidifying its position as one of the most successful rally cars of all time.

Polo WRC Plus: Unfulfilled Dream

While the Polo R WRC was racking up victories, the Volkswagen Motorsport team was quietly working on the future of the Polo in rallying. With the contribution of legendary Finnish driver Marcus Grönholm, the team developed the Polo WRC Plus, an even more advanced and powerful version of the car. However, despite the car being ready for its debut, Volkswagen made the drastic decision to withdraw the team from the World Rally Championship at the end of the 2016 season, thus preventing the Polo WRC Plus from showcasing its potential on the WRC tracks.

Despite the premature withdrawal from competition, the Volkswagen Polo has left an indelible mark on the rally history. With its combination of exceptional performance, cutting-edge technology, and a team of talented drivers and engineers, the Polo has proven its worth on the world’s most challenging roads. Its dominance in the WRC will remain a testament to Volkswagen’s talent and ingenuity in the racing world, while its competitive spirit will continue to inspire generations of rally enthusiasts worldwide.