Volkswagen World Rally Championship (WRC) driver Jari-Matti Latvala together with his co-driver Miikka Anttila made a visit to Malaysia courtesy of Volkswagen Group Malaysia before heading off to compete in the Australian rally leg of the WRC. The two very sporting men were fresh from an amazing one-two-three win on Volkswagen’s home turf, the Rallye Deutschland.
Messrs Latvala and Anttila graced the grounds of Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam to meet specially invited Volkswagen owners, fans and members of the media as well as launch the limited edition Volkswagen Polo Trophy released in conjunction with Volkswagen’s success in the World Rally Championship (WRC) arena. The event today, marked the start of the Polo Rally Weekend scheduled for the 5th and 6th of September 2015. Visitors could go for a ride with two of Malaysia’s top female drifters – Leona Chin and Azrina Jane Abdullah. They could also take a closer look at the newly launched Polo Trophy (some trim and stickers differentiate it from the normal version) where only 100 units are available. It is priced at RM89,888 while stocks last.
Anyway, back to the day itself. Jari- Matti Latvala gave 60 lucky individuals comprising media, consumers and Volkswagen Facebook contest winners a memorable ride of their lives. So obviously Yours Truly managed to sit right beside him. A WRC driver taking you round a circuit with a jump in the middle even in a normal Polo 1.6 Hatchback is still an experience to remember. Whilst sitting shotgun in the slightly mundane Polo 1.6 Hatchback Jari-Matti demonstrated great skill. He would obviously leave most drivers for dead on a windy road even in the Polo. The best thing for me was that he had basically confirmed that even the base Volkswagen Polo is a tidy handling car that can be fun to drive (and it is one of the cars that I would recommend if you're interested in a small car that comes in just under RM90K). But dammit, wish it was at least a Golf R he was piloting. But is was the launch of the Polo Trophy. So a Polo 1.6 it was.
And after he finished with going round and round with us lucky people, Jari-Matti had a face off with our local drift queen, Leona Chin (pictured above on the left, with Jari-Matti). Jari-Matti is currently ranked 2nd in the WRC arena – got behind the wheel as promised, to take on the challenge issued by her majesty queen Leona Chin on her Facebook page a week prior to his arrival. The time attack challenge saw them going head-to-head in a gymkhana course in the Polo.
Unsurprisingly the WRC driver was victorious (easily a good 4 seconds faster if not for a clipped cone which he gained a 3 second penalty), anyway, Leona walked away with the experience of a race of a lifetime against a 14-times rally champ who then let her ride shotgun and give her pointers. I was watching the 'race' from the comfort of the hospitality tent via the cameras. I have to say that the rally driver was super precise in cutting close to the apex of the corners. And he did so carrying a heck of a lot of speed. Even in a normal Polo.
So anyway, do head over to Setia City in Shah Alam so that you can experience some high speed taxi rides and other stuff over the weekend.
Not a Polo, but a Beetle Rally on display...very unique with the roof scoop and allPRESS RELEASE (and more pics below)
Volkswagen WRC team unveils Polo Trophy in KL
(4 September 2015) Before tackling the Australian rally leg, Volkswagen World Rally Championship driver Jari-Matti Latvala together with his co-driver Miikka Anttila made a swift pit stop here.
Fresh off the exhilarating one-two-three win on Volkswagen’s home turf, Latvala and Anttila graced Kuala Lumpur to meet fans and launch the limited edition Polo Trophy released in conjunction with Volkswagen’s success in the World Rally Championship (WRC) arena.
At the circuit, the duo – who finished second after team mates Sebastian Ogier and Julien Ingrassia at the German Rally – competes in the Polo R WRC, a vehicle technically enhanced and cosmetically upgraded from the roadworthy Polo.
The duo were received by Volkswagen Group Malaysia Managing Director Mr Armin Keller, who congratulated them on their spectacular achievement before launching the new Polo enhanced with side and bonnet stickers, contrast wing mirrors and rear spoiler inspired by the sport. The Polo Trophy also comes equipped with satellite navigation and tinted windows.
“Today’s Polo Rally Weekend is an important one for the team. What a great way to be able to share with you another side of the brand. Volkswagen has had a long history of engagement in different rally platforms through the years.
“The World Rally Championship is one of them and we have consistently made podium finishes in most of the rallies in recent years. And last month was a great day for Volkswagen at the Rallye Deutschland, where all three of our WRC teams had podium finishes.
“We are proud to have with us today Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila at the launch of this limited edition Polo Trophy designed especially for Malaysian and WRC fans,” Keller said at the launch event held at Setia City Convention Centre.
Latvala and Anttila, who finished second after team mates Sebastian Ogier and Julien Ingrassia at the German Rally, unveiled the cars in nothing short of magnificent fashion via an explosive, show-stopping ramp jump; a first for a regular production Polo here.
Latvala also gave 60 lucky fans comprising media, consumers and Volkswagen Facebook contest winners a memorable ride of their lives. Sitting shotgun, the 30-year-old piloted them through a thrilling, fast lap displaying precise driving action around the course in daily drive Polos.
And before departing, Latvala – currently ranked 2nd in the WRC arena – got behind the wheel as promised, to take on the challenge issued by viral drift princess Leona Chin on her Facebook page a week prior to his arrival.
The time attack challenge saw the duo going head-to-head in a gymkhana course where both demonstrated who can outrun the other better and faster in the Polo. While the amicable challenge crowned Latvala victorious, Chin walked away feeling like a winner having had the race of a lifetime against a 14-times rally champ.
The event will continue over the weekend for consumers. Visitors could go for a ride with two of Malaysia’s top female drifters – Chin and Azrina Jane Abdullah. They could also take a closer look at the newly launched Polo Trophy where only 100 units are available. It is priced at RM89,888 while stocks last. Fans of the Volkswagen performance range could also enjoy up to RM30,000 in savings for the Golf GTI, Golf R and Scirocco R till 30 September 2015.