Motor sport milestones

The Magnificent.

Volkswagen also made history in the world of motor sport on virtually every surface, racking up numerous successes on asphalt, gravel, snow, ice and desert sand. What began in the mid-1960s with Formula Vee is now continuing into the future with the Polo R WRC. Volkswagen competing in motor sport is the stuff of countless fascinating stories. You can see some of these legends of the racetracks and rally courses up-close at the AutoMuseum.



FORMCAR Formula Vee racing car, 1965

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Year of manufacture

1965

Engine

four-cylinder boxer, air-cooled

Power

40 hp / 29 kW

Engine size

1198 cc

Top speed

165 km/h

Hubert L. Brundage, a sports enthusiast and Volkswagen dealer from Florida, was the first person to develop a Formula racing car based technically on the Beetle. Following highly successful Formula Vee races in the USA, the new Volkswagen racing car went on to conquer Europe a little later. Twelve FORMCAR and BEACH models were initially imported to Germany, where Formula Vee celebrated its German and European premiere on 4 July 1965 at the Norisring in Nuremberg. The model on show at the AutoMuseum is one of the oldest surviving FORMCARS with a 1.2-litre engine.

Formel Vau 01
Formel Vau 02
Formel Vau 03
Formel Vau 04

Race Iltis, 1980

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Year of manufacture

1979

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled

Power

110 hp / 81 kW (thanks to a twin carburettor)

Engine size

1700 ccm

Top speed

approx. 130 km/h

The Race Iltis on display at the AutoMuseum is the original vehicle in which the legendary racing driver Freddy Graf Kottulinsky won the Rally Oasis (later known as the Rally Dakar) in 1980. Three other Iltis models finished second, fourth and ninth. The Iltis was originally designed as an off-road vehicle for the German army and 8,800 models were built. In 1982 Volkswagen sold the production lines for the Iltis to the Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, which continued to build a slightly modified version of the talented off-roader until 1987.

Iltis Paris-Dakar 01
Iltis Paris-Dakar 02
Iltis Paris-Dakar 03
Iltis Paris-Dakar 04

Golf I GTI ‘Rheila’, 1981

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Year of manufacture

1981

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled, Oettinger

Power

197 hp / 145 kW

Engine size

1597 cc

Top speed

210 km/h

Volkswagen Motorsport had been competing in the German Rally Championship with tuned mass-produced vehicles since 1977. The breakthrough in the world of motor sport came in 1981 with the vehicle on display here: after ten races, Alfons Stock and Paul Schmuck secured the German Rally Championship in the green Rheila Golf. The vehicle was subsequently given an Oettinger four-valve cylinder head and – with 197 horsepower – became the most powerful and sophisticated  Golf GTI of its era.

Golf I GTI „Rheila“ 01
Golf I GTI „Rheila“ 02
Golf I GTI „Rheila“ 03

Polo G40 world record, 1985

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Year of manufacture

1985

Engine

four-cylinder in-line, water-cooled, charging

Power

129 hp / 95 kW

Engine size

1272 cc

Top speed

218 km/h

Production period

Polo G40 series: 1987-1994

The 115 PS Polo II Coupé G40 with a 1.3 litre engine boosted by a G charger was launched in August 1985. One month later, the exhibit on show achieved a new 24 hour endurance record average speed of 208 km/h. The three test prototypes were fitted with optimised aerodynamic bodies and engines boosted to 129 PS with cylinder head valve control by rocker levers. They covered 5,000 kilometres on the Volkswagen test track at Ehra-Lessien reaching top speeds of 218 km/h.

Polo G40 Weltrekord, 1985_01
Polo G40 Weltrekord, 1985_02
Polo G40 Weltrekord, 1985_03
Polo G40 Weltrekord, 1985_04

Touareg Race, 2011

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Year of manufacture

2011

Engine

five-cylinder in-line, TDI, water-cooled

Power

300 hp / 221 kW

Engine size

2500 cc

Top speed

190 km/h

Production period

Touareg I series: 2002-2010

This racing car represents the third generation of Touareg Race models. It won the tough Dakar Rallies in 2010 and 2011 (meanwhile the rally is held in South America for security reasons). The car, which is powered by a 2.5 litre, 300 PS diesel engine, is based on a tubular space frame made of aircraft steel and was provided with a carbon fibre body. The only thing in common between the racing cars used after 2005 and production Touareg models is the looks.

Touareg Race 01
Touareg Race 02