The South African National Rally Championship had evaded multiple title holder Jannie Habig for two years when in 2005 the local championship regulations changed to run in accordance with the FIA’s S2000 specification – an attempt to create a cost-effective standardised rallying class around the world. Accordingly Habig’s weapon of choice that year was a brand-new Polo S2000.
Powered by a normally aspirated 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol motor, the Polo S2000 developed 195 kW at 8 250 r/min and 235 N.m of torque at 7 000 r/min – sending power to all four wheels via a centre differential and six-speed sequential transmission.
Tasked with keeping the Polo S2000 ahead of the competition during 2005’s gravel and tarmac stages were 15-inch Dunlop Direzza DZ86 tyres and 18-inch D202G tyres respectively. The Polo S2000 sprinted from standstill to 100 km/h in 6,31 seconds with a 172 km/h top speed.
Habig went on to win the 2005 South African Rally Championship in the Polo, the first S2000 car to do so. CAR magazine tested this same car just one week after its overall win.