Volkswagen presented the 'final design' of its Polo R WRC in Monaco today as its gears up for the 2013 World Rally Championship and the season opener, Rallye Monte Carlo.

In front of around 250 guests and journalists, the Polo R WRC was rolled over a symbolic starting ramp with the famous Monte Carlo Casino as the backdrop, 'signifying the start of a new era for VW in motorsport'. Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala will pilot the car in 2013, with Andreas Mikkelsen competing in a third entry from Portugal onwards.

"Volkswagen has prepared intensively for the World Rally Championship, and every single member of the team can hardly wait to finally get stuck into the competition with the Polo R WRC," said Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito.

"The World Rally Championship is a new challenge for us, and one that we are confronting with a host of good ideas and a strong team. Whether Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen or the team in the background, we have first-class personnel on board.

"17 months of intensive development, testing and a lot of innovation have gone into the Polo R WRC. For what it's worth, the Polo is also, in my eyes, a beautiful and spectacular rally car."

"The launch of the Polo R WRC, which is now ready and raring to go, heralds a new era in motorsport for Volkswagen: the FIA World Rally Championship offers Volkswagen the opportunity to prove its sporty qualities in an environment, in which our cars have always been at home: on real streets," added Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management responsible for development.

"In doing so, we are not using extraordinary prototypes, but a Polo based on the standard production car. This proximity to the product and customer played an important role in our decision to commit to this form of global motorsport."

The launch of the Polo R WRC was preceded by the unveiling of its 'sporty production counterpart', the Polo R WRC Street, which goes on sale on Monday, December 11.