Cold test passed: Solberg, Grönholm and Tidemand test the Polo GTI R5 in Sweden

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Ice test passed: The new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 has been successfully put through its paces in Sweden – by three world rally champions, no less.

Petter Solberg (N), 2003 WRC champion, was joined at the wheel of the four-wheel drive rally car for customer sports by 2000 and 2002 world champion Marcus Grönholm (FIN), and Pontus Tidemand (S), junior world champion in 2013 and WRC2 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 with many snow banks along the four-kilometre section of route, the conditions were ideal to give the 272-hp Polo GTI R5 a really stern test, during which it demonstrated its excellent reliability.

“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 kilometres in one day – very different to what I’m used to in the World Rallycross Championship. 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.”

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