Home / Social media / News / Legendary rallycross Petter Solberg, to take on the famed Simola Hillclimb in his Polo R WRX Supercar


Engines are being fine-tuned, suspension is being dialled in, and the excitement is palpable with race teams and fans finalising logistics for the 13th annual Simola Hillclimb in Knysna. Volkswagen SA has just set the internet alight with its Simola-related news - the automaker just announced its line-up of drivers and cars that will be trying to tame the hill. In amongst the competitors is one of the most well-known Volkswagen-backed racers on the planet, none other than legendary World Rally Cross driver Petter Solberg. As if that’s not mad enough, Volkswagen Motorsport has brought over Solberg’s Polo R WRX Supercar. That’s going to set the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons because the purpose-built car is one serious piece of machinery that ticks all the boxes for a possible class win up the winding 1.9 km hill. Solberg's relationship with Volkswagen dates back to 2017 when he teamed up with the brand to set up the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team in partnership. He won the Team's Championship in both 2017 and 2018 before retiring from full-time racing. In 2019 he did a farewell season and ended with a WRC class win at the 2019 Wales Rally, and also took top spot at Gymkhana GRiD in Greece, set the fastest RX car time at Goodwood Festival of Speed and set the lap record at the Norges Råeste Bakkeløp - the man is a force to be reckoned with. You just know Solberg will give it his all, no one comes out of retirement to not kick ass.

The Polo R WRX Supercar features a cutting-edge design with engine cooling that adds to the aerodynamics, making it exceptionally efficient. The rear wing of the car creates serious downforce which allows for a wide range of set-up options. The main weapon in the Polo’s arsenal is the turbocharged 2.0-litre powerplant that’s been tuned to produce an impressive 419 kW with 650 Nm of torque and it's coupled to a 6-speed sequential transmission and has permanent all-wheel drive. The Supercar can launch from standstill to 100km/h in just 1.9 seconds, and that’s the kind of thing that can help a hillclimb car achieve a podium spot. In addition to Solberg, Volkswagen Motorsport’s lineup includes Jonathan Mogotsi and Daniel Rowe who will be racing in the new Golf 8 R, which is also currently being discussed online in SA after finding out the car will set you back over R1 000 000. For a Golf. The 8R is still impressive, which it should be for that price. The turbocharged 2.0-litre produces 235 kW with 400 Nm and can hit 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and has a limited top speed of 250 km/h, not to mention an all-new all-wheel drive system. Graeme Nathan also has a seat in his Polo Supa Cup racecar. Last year in the Class B2 finals, he missed top spot by just 0.016 seconds and so he’ll be giving it 10/10ths. For 2023, the Simola Hillclimb takes place from the 4th to 7th of May. See you there!

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows a few highlights of legendary racer Petter Solberg giving us a glimpse of just why it's so damn exciting to have him visit SA with his monster Polo R WRX Supercar and attack the famed hill in Knysna at the Simola International Hillclimb in about a month's time: Volkswagen Motorsport - Simola Hillclimb Driver reveal 2023 | Volkswagen SA

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