The Volkswagen Polo GTI has been developed as a customer rally car to compete in the WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship.
The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 will undergo FIA homologation in April or May 2018 and deliveries will commence from autumn 2018. The automaker has been developing the four-door rally car from the beginning of 2017 with its vast knowledge of sport acquired over the years from WRC.
Volkswagen dominated the WRC by winning four titles in a row from 2013 to 2016. But the automaker decided to quit the championship early this year. Now, with the Polo GTI R5, Volkswagen is making a comeback to rallying, but not as a manufacturer.
The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 will cater the talented rally drivers, motorsport customers and even professional teams to compete in various championships around the world including the WRC. The new rally car has been developed by Volkswagen Motorsport Technical Director, Francois-Xavier Demaison and Project Manager, Jan de Jongh who was the race engineer for Sebastien Ogier.
Previously when Volkswagen teased the car, it had revealed that the Polo GTI R5 has been going through rigorous tests. The rally car has been tested in asphalt and gravel in Fontjoncouse, France. The automaker will continue to test the car in Great Britain in December.
The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 draws power from the existing 1.8-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder, petrol engine producing 268bhp and 400Nm of torque. The engine is coupled to a 5-speed sequential gearbox. The road-going version of the Polo GTI is good for 185bhp.
Apart from the tuned engine, the Polo GTI R5 is also equipped with permanent four-wheel-drive, steel chassis and safety roll cage. On the design front, the Polo GTI R5 looks similar to its road-going sibling except for the wide wheel arches, flared bodywork, a larger spoiler and sporty alloy wheels.
The Polo GTI R5 is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 4.1 seconds on asphalt, gravel and even snow. In India, the road-going Polo GTI has 0-100 time of 7.1 seconds which is not bad for a front-wheel-drive car. You can also read out first drive review of the Polo GTI to know more about the road-spec model.
The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 is a four-door rally car, unlike the two-door WRC car. The rally-spec version of the hatchback employs the same 1.8-litre engine but it is in a different state of tune. The new R5 car will be a good option for many talented rally drivers around the world who are looking to compete in rally championships in their respective countries.