The second-generation Volkswagen Polo R WRC was recently unveiled by the company at a special event in Wolfsburg, Germany. Set to compete at the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship which will kick off at January 22-25, 2015 at Monte Carlo, the new Polo R WRC sports a new exterior look along with an improved powertrain.

The white exterior finish has now been replaced with a dark-blue livery and at the rear, it has a redesigned wing. Volkswagen did not go into specifics about its improved powertrain, but they did state that the 2015 Polo R WRC outputs 318 PS and has a new hydraulically activated gearbox with paddle shifters. Volkswagen also said that three-quarters of the Polo's last year's components were checked and optimized in an effort to make the 2015 car lighter and stronger.

The rear of the 2015 Volkswagen Polo WRC

“The new Polo R WRC has undergone intense further development, both on the inside and the outside. 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,” said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development.

Volkswagen will be fielding three 2015 Polo WRCs for the upcoming season and will be driven by teams Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia, Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Flone.

VW has dominated the World Rally Championship from the Polo R's maiden season in 2013 until last year with Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia taking the drivers' championship. They are expecting to extend their title victories this year as well.

The 2015 Volkswagen Polo WRC with the team

"I am very optimistic that the new car will get off to just as good a start as its predecessor. We have done a lot of testing and we drivers have worked very closely with the engineers. We put a lot of effort into developing the new shift paddle, which represents real progress. We are looking forward to the new season. It will be exciting to see how we fare against the other teams. The tests have gone well so far, and our engineers have done a good job. The Polo R WRC is even better than it was before," said Ogier.