• Apr 15, 2011
Rumors surrounding a prospective motorsports expansion in the Volkswagen Group have been swirling around for years now. One of the largest automakers in the world, VW's factory-supported racing activities are largely limited to Audi and its considerable Le Mans program and Volkswagen's own Dakar efforts, with a handful of lower-level initiatives and non-works entries in other series. We're still expecting a big shake-up, but the first step, according to reports, will see the Volkswagen brand launch a challenge for the World Rally Championship.

The initiative was set to launch last month at the WRC Portugal Rally, but Germans being Germans, the launch was reportedly delayed because the papers had yet to be signed by the right people. With all the Johan Hanckonenshteins now apparently in place, the program is set to be announced next month at Italy's Sardegna rally.

Volkswagen's WRC entry is expected to revolve around the Polo (pictured above in South Africa in S2000 rally spec), which will challenge select rounds in 2012 before going flat-out for the full season in 2013 – similar to the path which Mini and Prodrive have taken with their new entry. Norwegian driver Petter Solberg – who won the championship for Subaru in 2003 – is rumored as a potential driver, as is Nasser Al-Attiyah, the Qatari driver (and competitive marksman) who won at Dakar in a Volkswagen Touareg this year as well as the WRC production class which he won in 2006 in a Subaru Impreza.

[Source: Autosport]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of course not Scirocco, the Polo is much lighter. Win.
        • 3 Years Ago
        VW Lupo and Fox are even lighter, you want a Fox on WRC?
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is completely awesome so long as they make a street version of whatever they campaign and sell it Stateside. But this is VW, so they probably won't. So it gets a big 'meh' from me...
        • 3 Years Ago
        We'll probably get a special edition GTi, but no Polo any time soon. VW will play it safe and see how NA accepts the new wave of sub-compacts first, but they still won't give us a hopped up one worth more than a standard GTi.
      • 3 Years Ago
      @ themanwithsauce... Guten tagen, mein freund. My comment wasnt meant to be an insult, just fun. And no, I dont speak German fluently. Thats pretty obvious. And yes, the Fiesta is small and cute, but so is the Polo. Not sure where youre going with that.

      • 3 Years Ago
      Given the heritage and Quattro Element I feel this would have better marketing potential done through the Audi arm of the mighty VAG.
      • 3 Years Ago
      A WRC scirocco would be pretty awesome :L
      • 3 Years Ago
      Noooooo! Polo and not Scirocco??? FAIL !

        • 3 Years Ago
        The Scirocco would be way too big and heavy to compete with a DS3, Fiesta, and Crossman, powered by a 1.6. VW understands offroad Motorsport pretty well. Have a little faith. I'm sure they've thought this through thoroughly.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is exciting for WRC, Ford and Citroen both have new cars, Mini is jumping in the mix and now VW.

      Its starting to make mitsubishi and subaru look like wannabe rally racers these days.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Then Impreza doesn't meet the new WRC regs any more and Mitsubishi is turning the EVO into a green weenie-mobile. So we likely wont see them come back to WRC anytime soon.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Except they're the only one's who let you buy a car like that. Funny how that works. (Focus RS isn't AWD, but I guess they get partial credit.)
      rv65
      • 3 Years Ago
      Toyota is also considering a WRC program, and they have done some tests in Japan. Toyota wants to use the Yaris for their WRC program and I could see them doing it in 2013, though 2012 is possible.
      • 3 Years Ago
      And it would even sweeter if we could watch it.
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