Volkswagen launches new customer rally car after realigning its motorsport programme


Volkswagen Motorsport have launched a new customer rally car, based on the next generation Polo.

Since their departure from the FIA World Rally Championship at the end of the 2016 season, the Wolfsburg-based car manufacturer has realigned their motorsport programme to fit in with future technologies.

With 42 wins in 51 rallies, four World Rally and Manufacturer’s Championships, Volkswagen’s Polo R WRC is one of the most successful cars in WRC history.

Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Technical Development said “The Volkswagen brand is facing enormous challenges. With the upcoming expansion in electrification of our vehicle range we must focus all our efforts on important future technologies.

“We far exceeded our sporting goals in the WRC, now we are realigning Volkswagen Motorsport and moving the vehicle technology of the future more starkly into focus.

“At the same time, Volkswagen is going to focus more on customer racing, as well as the Golf GTI TCR on the circuit and the Beetle GRC in rallycross. We also want to offer customers top products and will develop a new Polo according to R5 regulations.”

Volkswagen Motorsport will be developing a new vehicle, complying with R5 regulations for customers to buy in 2018.

Credit: Bodo Kräling/Volkswagen Motorsport
Credit: Bodo Kräling/Volkswagen Motorsport

Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director explained about the team’s departure from the WRC. “Of course, we regret the departure from the WRC very much – as this was the most successful chapter in the Volkswagen brand’s motorsport history.

“The team has done great things. At the same time, our vision is firmly ahead, because we are aware of the great challenges facing the entire company. We want our realignment to contribute to the success of the Volkswagen brand.

“From now on, the focus is on upcoming technologies in motorsport and on our customer sports range, where we will position ourselves more broadly and attractively.”