Defending title-winners Volkswagen has officially launched its 2015 World Rally Championship campaign by unveiling a new-look for its successful Polo R WRC.
The German firm, which has dominated the series since its debut in 2013, will be striving for its third consecutive drivers' and manufacturers' title with its unchanged driver line-up of Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen.
Ahead of the 2015 WRC opener in Monte Carlo, VW has now pulled the wraps off the latest iteration of its Polo R, which will feature a new predominantly blue livery with continued prominent backing from Red Bull.
“The new Polo R WRC has undergone intense further development, both on the inside and the outside,” said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development. “Not only does it look even more dynamic and sporty than it did before, but our engineers have also been working meticulously on technical innovations under the bonnet and have improved many detailed aspects of the package that has been so successful for the past two years.
"The focus of this further development was on efficiency, reliability and performance. We can hardly wait to see the new Polo R WRC in Monte Carlo and at the other twelve rallies on four continents.”
One of the key developments of the 2015 specification Polo R WRC is the implementation of a hydraulically activated gearbox, which is operated via a shift on the steering column, while VW claims to have made the car 'lighter and simpler'.
VW's dominance of the World Rally Championship saw it win all-but-one event in 2014, with Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen ending the season 1-2-3 in the drivers' standings. Since 2013 it has notched up 345 stage wins out of a 486 total.
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