The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 has been teased ahead of the German car maker’s return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in the second half of 2018… sort of.

THE VOLKSWAGEN Polo GTI R5 has been teased in a sketch ahead of its introduction to WRC in the second half of 2018. VW will offer the powered-up rally version of the town car to “professional teams and aspiring drivers to enable them to compete in championships across the globe – including the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)”.

“With the Polo GTI R5 we are hoping to transfer our expertise from four WRC titles to customer racing successfully, and offer a first-class racing machine for countless rally championships from national series to the WRC,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets.

“Before the first race outing next year, we will subject the Polo GTI R5 to rigorous testing to make sure it is prepared for the extremely varied track conditions around the world.”

And VW doesn’t seem to be mucking about with the machine, bringing in Volkswagen Motorsport Technical Director François-Xavier “FX” Demaison, father of the record winning Polo R WRC, to run the development of the Polo GTI R5. And Gerard-Jan de Jongh also brings all his expertise as the senior project engineer –formerly Sébastien Ogier’s race engineer; Ogier won the drivers’ title with Volkswagen four times in a row.

The Polo GTI R5 runs a four-cylinder turbo engine with direct fuel injection, all-wheel drive, a sequential five-speed racing transmission and a “comprehensive safety package, which are the most important features of the R5 category brought into being by the international automobile association, the FIA, in 2012”.

VW will move from being directly involved in running a WRC team to the development of rally cars for others, much like it has with the Golf GTI TCR for circuit racing.


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