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5/5/2011 saw the launch of Volkswagen's exciting new WRC challenger, Polo R WRC. Set to compete in 2013, this is the biggest ralling news to come out of Wolfsburg in over a decade and marks the start of something very big. With two separate WRC programmes by the SEAT and Skoda VAG brands in the noughties, VW Group learnt all about the costs and the technical race to compete at the highest level, leaving the series without success, unable to compete with the likes of Ford and Subaru. With the abortive VW Golf Rallye campaign of 1990 still embedded in long memories, as well as the stillborn Schmidt Motorsport-developed Golf A59, Volkswagen must be acutely aware of the need for success. Of late, VW has proven it can compete strongly with the VW Polo Super 1600 & S2000 variants, albeit via satellite teams in South Africa and Belgium. With Skoda running a very successful Fabia S2000 car, repeatedly criticised by other teams for its strong performance and being more of a works-backed car than the others, the shared Polo/Fabia platform immediately suggests that the mechanicals are being reverse engineered into the Polo R WRC. Whatever happens, Volkswagen cannot be entering the world class WRC with anything other than open eyes and a fixation on winning. A very exciting time for anyone interested in the fortunes of Volkswagen, but also the GTI concept. As models progressively increase in size, a sporty Polo is the direct hatchback descendant of the legendary Golf GTI, 35 years after it was invented. And for that alone, this news will be sure to capture the full attention of the GTI generation. Launch pictures of the Polo R WRC can be found here.

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