How times have changed. Volkswagen's last launch of a major motorsport programme involved a vast marquee on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda and a lot of people.
And that was just to tell folk that VW would be coming to the World Rally Championship. When it actually arrived, the rallying world decamped to Monaco and was wined and dined by the German manufacturer. It was very impressive. Very Volkswagen.
And ahead of last weekend's World RX opener at Barcelona, Volkswagen Motorsport reminded the world that it's still alive, post-WRC departure.
The launch of the PSRX Volkswagen World RX Team Sweden in Stockholm was an intriguing affair, and I'd headed north confident in the belief that what I was going to find was a factory team in all but name.
But this is Petter Solberg's team.
It was Solberg who took centre stage at the launch, outlining his immediate past and the plans for the future. He talked in typically emotional terms about the "dream" he was realising in 2017 by tying up a factory collaboration for his team, a partnership that began with fourth at last weekend's season-opener.
"I always wanted my own team in this kind of situation and now we've got it," he said. "Honestly, believe me, so many people have worked so hard to get us to this point and I don't forget that. That's why I stay so loyal with my team."
It's true. Guys like Ole Johan Rustad, John 'Cudders' Cudmore and Ian Emerson have been with Solberg through thick and thin. They're not going anywhere. Petter's wife Pernilla is an integral part of the operation too; she, along with Per-Espen Lochen, looks after the commercial side of PSRX as well as spotting for him on track.
This team wins and loses together; I've seen both first-hand, and the emotional rollercoaster is higher, lower and faster than in any other team I've known.
"We are a family," says Solberg. It sounds trite, until you hear the conviction and see the steel in his eye.
It's impossible not to be caught up in the whirlwind moments the one-time World Rally and two-time World Rallycross champion creates. Solberg is, without a doubt, a good talker - but he's an even better do-er.
But what about Volkswagen Motorsport?
Whether by design or not, the scenes at the launch played out in perfect support of the notion that this is not a factory team. Again: This. Is. Not. A. Factory. Team.
From behind the curtain came Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets, technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison and marketing chief Andre Dietzel.
These three were right at the heart of VW's four years of total domination of the WRC, the series second only to F1 in the FIA pecking order. And here they were hiding themselves behind a curtain.
"We are supporting Petter and his team," says Smeets. "We are building the cars and running the cars, but everything else is down to him and to Volkswagen Sweden."
Poking around behind the scenes, that genuinely is the case. This is no faux-privateer effort quietly bankrolled by manufacturer millions. Solberg's still spending a great deal of his time on the telephone talking to potential partners. I know. I saw him.
So what is Volkswagen doing? What does this RX gig represent to it?
In short, it's doing the same in World RX with Solberg as it is with the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team in Global Rallycross in America.
The Beetle that Scott Speed used to win the GRC title for the last two years (and landed the team its own 2016 crown) was born at VW's factory in Hannover. The intention is to do the same with the Polo GTI Supercar in World RX.
"We have GRC, WRX and the Polo R5 rally car," says Smeets. "We have enough to keep us busy right now. We don't have one big, major programme, but what we are doing with Petter is really important for us."
Elevated to board level, Smeets is always going to be busy, but it's Demaison who really had to keep an eye on Volkswagen's direction post-WRexit. Demaison is a man whose life is about making things go faster. He's an engineer's engineer.
"I'm too young to go to the other side," he says. "I'm not so interested in thinking about what colour the paper is or what is happening there, I want to make the car faster. That's all."
He's quick to point out that's a broad strike at corporate life rather than any slight on Smeets' move upstairs. But you get the point.
As far as Demaison's concerned, he still has challenges: winning Le Mans and the step into F1 are boxes that remain unticked. He concedes F1 is about the only thing that would tempt him away from VW. Returning to rallying with another team? No thanks.
"Not unless Lancia came and said they had two years to design the perfect rally car," he says. "I'd be interested in that..."
For an engineer who's happy to get his cars dirty, rallycross is about as good as it gets now.
Sure, the 2017 technical regulations have opened the WRC up from a technical perspective, but it's still nothing like the difference that can be made from drawing board to start line in World RX.
"It's a blank sheet of paper with these rallycross cars," Demaison says.
Except his blank sheet was already decorated with a drawing of a 2014-specification Polo R WRC.
"That's what we have based this year's RX car on," he says. "We still had the manual [sequential] transmission, so it made sense to use those cars. And we had experience of making a rallycross car."
Excuse me? Making a what?
"Yeah," he says with the grin of a man who's aware - and happy - that he's spilling beans. "When Jost [Capito, former team principal] was thinking he might be needing a possible exit strategy [from the WRC] in 2015, he asked me to transform a '14 car, put the RX engine in and modify the transmission.
"We did that and we did one or two tests, I think in the September of that year, to validate what we had found. So, we have some experience for this side of the sport."
Experience aside, Solberg and team-mate Johan Kristoffersson's Polo GTI is still something of a 'bitsa' compared with, say, the RX race-bred Ford Focus of Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud.
"It is a little bit of a compromise to come with this car," Demaison says.
"We have the suspension from the World Rally Car, the position for the engine is not optimised for the rules.
"The main thing we have worked on is the cooling - and this is where there is a real compromise between getting air into the intercooler but also protecting the front of the car from stone projection from the car in front. This is not something we have ever had to think about in rallying."
And as he talks of compromise, you can see the craving for a clean sheet of paper in his eyes.
"If we made the car using all of the rules," he says, "well, we would spend months working on the transmission, everything would be perfect. We hope we can do the job properly."
That's the first indication that a foot might be about to follow the toe Volkswagen is dipping into the waters of World RX.
But before that, there's the renewal of Demaison's old acquaintance with Solberg. The pair worked together at Subaru and then Demaison engineered Solberg's own WRC cars through 2009 to '11. Since then, Petter's never been far away.
"I think I still spoke with him every week," says Demaison. "I like Petter, I like working with him. He's a good guy and a guy who gives it absolutely everything.
"As well as working on the car, one of the big jobs for this year will be to get him to focus on the driving. He can leave the car to us now.
"It will be hard for him to take a step back, but if he doesn't, he could be in trouble - Johan will be focused on his driving and we know he's a very quick guy."
There's no denying Demaison's enthusiasm for the project. As the conversation gathers pace, the excitement builds. World Rallying, World Rallycross, wheelbarrow racing, it doesn't much matter - it's about taking what's in front of you and making it faster and more trick than those around you.
Volkswagen did just that on the Dakar and then in the WRC. Now it's turning its hand to World RX. And don't be fooled by the fact that it doesn't say 'Volkswagen Motorsport' on the back of the glove that's on that hand.
This might be Solberg's show, but it's also powered by some of the best in the business. They haven't gone anywhere.