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Volkswagen will not enter the World Rally Championship (WRC) as a manufacturer with the Polo WRC car. Instead, the company will offer customer rally cars.
Volkswagen has released the first teaser image of its new rally car, the Polo GTI R5. The project is being handled by VW Motorsport technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison and Sebastien Ogier's race engineer Gerard-Jan de Jongh.
Francois-Xavier and Gerard-Jan de Jongh played a vital role in developing the Polo R WRC which won four WRC titles. Volkswagen has not revealed the technical specifications of the new Polo GTI R5 rally car.
The new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 will compete in the WRC2 class. The R5 car is a lower-spec rally car as compared to the WRC cars. Usually, the R5 cars get the same engine as WRC cars, but the power output will be reduced by using a smaller turbocharger air restrictor.
The Polo GTI R5 is based on the sixth-generation Polo road car which is slated to launch later this year. The R5 car is likely to draw power from a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine mated to a 5-speed sequential gearbox.
Volkswagen is not the only manufacturer to offer customer rally-prepped cars. Hyundai already provides the NG i20 R5 car to its customers around the globe. M-Sport also offers the Fiesta R5 which is the most successful car in the R5 class.
It is a very good development that Volkswagen is returning to rallying. But the fans around the world will be disappointed to know that the company will not compete as a manufacturer. But still, Volkswagen has come forward to supply the new R5 rally car to its customers which will help the sport.
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