VW Polo – World RX champion’s favorite rally car

Johan Kristoffersson tells DirtFish about the durable World RX title-winning machine that quickly stole his heart


What’s your favorite rally car and why? In the latest of our series, we ask rallycross’s most successful driver about the car he holds closest to his heart. The answer is hardly a surprise!

Johan Kristoffersson is the ultimate benchmark in World Rallycross Championship history. He has more titles (three) and more event wins (23) to his name than anyone else.

Of course the Swede, son of former rallycross and touring car driver Tommy Kristoffersson, is one of the most talented and versatile rallycross drivers there has ever been, but that is only half of the story.

Naturally, the driver needs the car just as much as the car needs the driver. That car has been the most dominant in World RX history, as well as the most reliable.

Needless to say, we’re talking about the all-conquering Volkswagen Polo  – specifically the chassis Kristoffersson named Wilma that he drove to his first two world titles in 2017 and ’18.

The car has its origins in the World Rally Championship, so it’s no wonder that success on the stages transferred seamlessly to the World RX scene.

What springs to mind when you think of the Polo?

The first time I tested the car at Lohéac in January of 2017, that was my first impression of the car and it was such a cool feeling to drive the car. Not only because of the car but also being part of the PSRX team for that season, so that was a very nice start to the 2017 year.

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What is it you appreciate the most about the car?

For sure the reliability of the car, which was amazing, and how strongly built it was as well. It was a very complete car; a race car will never be 100% perfect, but that car was very complete. Rallycross, as everyone knows, is a bit of a contact sport (even though it isn’t supposed to be really) and I was always surprised how strong the car was, how it coped with the amount of contact we got on it in those two years.

The reliability of the car in the WRC as well was also very impressive and it was just as fast and as successful there as it was for us in World RX, so it clearly has a good record.

As I won two championships with that car, it’s definitely something which is extra special for me. I have a lot of cars which I enjoyed driving in my career, but this was the one which made me a world champion twice and it will always be my favorite one.

What’s your lasting memory of the Polo?

Definitely, my lasting memory from my time driving this car was crossing the finish line in Riga in 2017, to win my first World RX title. It was of course one of the most special feelings I have had as a racing driver and one which I will never forget as well.

If there’s one thing DirtFish has noticed with this series, it’s that drivers rarely have just one favorite car. Kristoffersson picks a car that comes a close second and is a symbol of his sensational 2012 season.

The second favorite car must be the Audi RS 5, that I drove in the Superstars championship in 2012 (which he won). That was a really cool car as well, I really enjoyed that one and I won the title as well so that was also quite special. It was also my first international championship I drove in too, so it holds good memories for me.