Volkswagen may have ditched its WRC team, but there will still be a Polo strutting its stuff on the loose in 2017 with the reveal of a factory-backed World Rallycross effort.
The car will be run and driven by 2004 WRC and two-time World RX champion Petter Solberg under the PSRX Volkswagen World RX Sweden banner, but the car itself has been developed at VW Motorsport's Hannover base.
It's based heavily on the Polo WRC that dominated rallying for the past four years and has been developed under the guidance of Francois-Xavier Demaison, the chief architect of that dominant machine. The transmission, suspension and bodywork are similar, however the major change has taken place under the bonnet.
The engine size has grown from 1.6 to 2.0 litres and the inlet restrictor has increased from 34mm to 45mm. The result is 425kW/650Nm which catapults the 1300kg Polo from 0-100km/h in just 1.9sec. Fun fact: the Polo WRX's engine shares its square 86mm x 86mm bore and stroke dimensions with the Bugatti Chiron, a car it happens to beat to the ton by 0.6sec.
The engine is a development of that found in the VW Beetle that has been campaigned in the US-based Global Rallycross Series by drivers such as Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.
Solberg will be joined in a second car by 28-year-old Swede Johan Kristoffersson, with the pair hoping to recapture the title won last year by Mattias Ekstrom in an Audi S1.
The first round of the 12-round 2017 World Rallycross series takes place in Spain on March 31-April 2.