Volkswagen is no stranger in building class-winning rally cars. The German marque has claimed numerous driver's and constructor's championship in World Rally Championship (WRC) with the previous Polo R WRC car. After the 2016 season closed however, Volkswagen decided to pull out from WRC.
Now, Volkswagen has built a new rally car using their acquired experience in WRC called the Polo GTI R5. Based on the sixth and latest generation Polo, the GTI R5 was specifically built to Group R5 specifications instead of the previous WRC-spec.
Much like the standard road-going Polo, the Polo GTI R5 is powered by a transversely mounted four-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection. Engine capacity has been limited to 1.6-liter due to regulations. Despite the limitation, output is rated at 272 PS and 400 Nm of torque. A 5-speed sequential gearbox then sends power to a permanent four-wheel drive system.
As with most race cars, the car has also been lightened. The Polo GTI R5 only weighs 1,320 kg allowing it to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 4.1 seconds. In order to meet FIA regulations, a roll cage has been installed together with other safety components.
“Our team and the colleagues at Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg deserve great credit for this. Over the coming months, the Polo GTI R5 must prove itself in a series of tough scenarios, in order to ensure that it can build on the success of its predecessor in the customers’ hands,” said Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director.
Homologation of the GTI R5 will be done in mid-2018, with deliveries to customer teams expected soon after.