Marcus Gronholm tests early version of 2017 VW Polo WRC

Two-time World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm has tested the first incarnation of Volkswagen's 2017 Polo R WRC

Marcus Gronholm tests early version of 2017 VW Polo WRC

The Polo will form part of the next generation of the world championship, with louder, faster and more extreme cars competing in the series.

Gronholm drove the car for three days in Finland last week, using the classic WRC stages Hassi and Vaheri, close to Jyvaskyla.

Volkswagen team principal Jost Capito explained the decision to start work on the car that is due to make its competitive debut in 17 months.

Capito told AUTOSPORT: "We were ahead of schedule, so we adapted a 2014 Polo World Rally Car to take a first look at the aero.

"We just wanted to see how it behaves in the high-speed stages, so Finland was the perfect place to do it.

"The car looks OK with the wider body and the front splitter, it looks good, but it's not so different from what we have now.

"It will change quite a lot before we get to 2017, in reality, these are just some parts we have added, it hasn't been in the windtunnel or anything like that yet."

Gronholm admitted he was limited in what he could say from the test.

"They [Volkswagen] don't want me to say so much, but the car was nice," he said.

Gronholm declined the opportunity to compare last week's test car with a current 2015 Polo R WRC, saying: "I can't compare - because I didn't drive the current car in Finland. We drove for three days, three full days.

"It was good. There are some changes on the car, they changed many small things and, of course, it sounded nice - that is definitely in the right way."

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