Volkswagen, Citroen and Toyota to start testing full 2017 WRC cars

All-new World Rally Championship cars from Volkswagen, Citroen and Toyota will run in 2017 specification for the first time in the next two weeks

Volkswagen, Citroen and Toyota to start testing full 2017 WRC cars

Volkswagen has been running a current Polo with development parts since last August, but the 2017 machine will be tested imminently, along with Citroen's C3 WRC and Toyota's Yaris WRC.

Why Toyota wants a WRC retro dream team

Hyundai and M-Sport's new cars will be later to test, with the i20 and Fiesta expected to be running in June and July.

Citroen team principal Yves Matton wouldn't be specific on a start date for the new car's test programme, but confirmed Alex Bengue would be the man to shake the car down at the firm's Satory test track near Paris.

Gravel testing with Kris Meeke, Craig Breen, Stephane Lefebvre and Bengue driving begins soon after.

"Kris will lead testing because he has a lot of experience for this type of job," Matton told Autosport. "We know he can make a really good job."

Citroen will be running two C3 test programmes in parallel.

"This is the normal process for Citroen," Matton added. "We will be doing that again this year.

"The second test car will, of course, be the evolution of the first one.

"The first car, the one we will use in April, is maybe not the one close to the homologation [specification], but the second one will be close."

Volkswagen drivers Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala will test the car for the first time after Rally Argentina, but test drivers Marcus Gronholm and Dieter Depping are expected to be in the new car in a matter of days.

"We know it's going to be the spring when we test the new car," Latvala told Autosport.

"Hopefully, it's coming soon. It's very exciting to get the chance to see and to drive what's the next chapter for Volkswagen.

"I am sure Marcus has done a good job, I spoke with him a little bit and I am very confident that the car will be ready."

Gronholm added: "The team has been making small improvements all of the time.

"I've been doing different tests and I have to say, it's looking very good. But, you know I can't say more than this."

Toyota's Tommi Makinen confirmed the Yaris would be running in April, with early mileage to be completed in Finland, possibly by the four-time world champion himself.

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