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Compiled by Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

Racing legend Solberg to pilot beastly VW Polo at Simola

429 kW Polo R WRX Supercar sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in a mind-blowing 1.9 seconds.

Volkswagen Motorsport is not only entering a VW Polo R WRX Supercar in this year’s Simola Hillclimb, but a super driver to boot in the form of Norwegian Petter Solberg.

The former world rally and rallycross champion will join a trio of local Volkswagen Motorsport factory drivers in Knysna from 4 to 7 May. The three locals are Jonathan Mogotsi and Daniel Rowe, who will be behind the steering wheel of the new Golf 8 R, and Graeme Nathan in a VW Polo SupaCup racing car.

“We are very excited to announce that Petter Solberg will be making his way to South Africa to race in the Polo R WRX Supercar,” said Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport.

“Solberg’s partnership with Volkswagen started in 2017, where he set up the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team in partnership with Volkswagen Motorsport. Solberg won the Team’s Championship in both 2017 and 2018 before his retirement from full-time racing.

“We are thrilled to have Petter come out of retirement to race for us in South Africa.”

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VW Polo R WRX Supercar a beast

The VW Polo R WRX Supercar’s modern Rallycross credentials speak for themselves with two Drivers’ titles and two Teams’ FIA World Championship wins.

This beastly Polo’s four-cylinder engine produces 419 kW of power and 650 Nm of torque at 5 000 rpm. Mated to a sequential, six-speed racing gearbox, the mill gets this special VW Polo from 0 to 100km/h in an incredible 1.9 seconds.

The rear wing of the VW Polo R WRX Supercar creates more downforce and allows a wide range of set-up options.

Street-legal hot hatch

The Golf 8 R will compete in stock standard production guise. The hatch is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine that sends 235 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque to all four wheels via seven-speed DSG transmission. It reaches 100 km/h from a standstill in 4.8 seconds with a top whack of 250 km/h.

Last year, Nathan came off second by a mere 0.016 second in the Class B2 finals in one of the closest margins in the history of the Simola Hillclimb.

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