Good old-fashioned gamesmanship is alive and well as Volkswagen confirmed its World Rally Championship entry on the eve of Mini's high-profile comeback at Rally Sardinia.
There has been some low-profile rallying over the decades by the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer, but never a full-on assault on the world championship.
VW plans to enter rounds with its Polo R in 2013, building the 300bhp, turbocharged four-wheel drive engine to WRC's new Super 2000 regulations.
"The new technical regulations of the World Rally Championship are an ideal fit for Volkswagen's philosophy with respect to the development of production vehicles," said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg of Volkswagen's development division.
"Downsizing, high efficiency and reliability are top priorities for our customers," he added.
The team will operate out of VW's motorsport HQ in Hannover, and it is no stranger to top-flight motorsport having won the last three Dakar rallies.
Volkswagen's entry to the series is part of WRC's much-anticipated renaissance following a number of years in which Ford and Citroen were the only two manufacturer-backed efforts.