Volkswagen’s new WRC 2 eligible Polo Gti R5 has been successfully put through its paces in Sweden by three world rally champions.
Petter Solberg, 2003 World Rally Championship winner, was joined at the wheel of the four-wheel drive car by 2000 and 2002 world champion Marcus Grönholm, and Pontus Tidemand, junior world champion in 2013 and WRC 2 champion in 2017.
The four-day test took place near the Swedish town of Kall. With temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius and an icy surface and snow banks along the four-kilometer test road, conditions gave the 272-hp car a stern test.
“It was just fantastic to be back behind the wheel of a rally car again and to help out the Volkswagen family,”said Solberg, who competes in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with his PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden.
“It was a really fun day. The team has done such a great job and the car is fantastic to drive. I didn’t want to get out at the end of the day. We covered almost 300 kilometers in one day – very different to what I’m used to in the World Rallycross Championship,” he said.
”I used my years of rallying experience to work with the engineers on small changes to the car. Big thanks to all the team for their work, and to Veronica Engan for stepping into the co-driver’s seat,” Solberg added.
Volkswagen has taken 15 orders for the new car, which will be homologated in summer 2018. The first deliveries to customer teams, and the first competitive outings, are planned for the second half of this year.