VW Polo GTI R5 will make rally debut during second half of 2018

Article by Christian A., on November 10, 2017

The Volkswagen Polo is one car that has made a major mark at the World Rally Championship (WRC). In just a few years, the Polo has scored over 40 wins, 38 podiums and 12 titles. And just the other day, Volkswagen again released a new version of the VW Polo that will be used for competition in WRC. Unlike Skoda, VW does not plan to run a factory team in WRC2, but iw will provide technical support and backup for its customers.

The new VW Polo GTI R5 is set to make its debut in the second half of 2018. Under the hood of the new hatchback is a four-cylinder turbocharged engine that carries out 270 horsepower (201 kilowatts). This engine is paired with a five speed sequential transmission. Though the company has not confirmed it yet, the factory team may compete next year. But this model will also be available for customer teams for the first time ever. The Polo GTI R5 is expected to go through tests in the next couple of weeks, before it goes out in the market by the second half of the year.

This project was made possible by Francois Xavier Demaison, VW Motorsport Technical Director and Gerard-Jan de Jongh who is the Senior Project Engineer. The Polo WRC began development at the start of 2017. These are the same people who are also responsible for the success of the previous Polo rally car.

Volkswagen plans to apply their expertise from winning WRC titles to customer racing successfully with the Polo GTI R5. Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director, also said that they would like to offer first class racing machine for countless rally championships from the national series to the WRC. They will ensure to subject the Polo GTI R5 to some solid testing to ensure that it is prepared for the different conditions in tracks all over the world.

The new Polo GTI R5 rally is based on the sixth generation road model and is set to make an appearance before the end of the year, supposedly alongside the standard Polo. However, one thing you should know is that the production Polo will not have the same engine - the 270 horsepower (201 kilowatts) one. Also, we have been hearing rumours that the German automaker is also developing a model that produces a little over 300 horsepower (223 kilowatts).

Lastly, we heard that VW is not the only one that will come with an R5. That is because Proton is also planning to launch the Iriz R5 by next year, while Toyota is planning on a Yaris R5 as soon as they have developed a suitable direct-injection engine.

Press Release

Volkswagen gives sneak preview of new Polo GTI R5

The GTI for rallying: With the Polo GTI R5, Volkswagen returns to rallying under a new guise. In the second half of 2018, Volkswagen will make the 270 hp rally version of the Polo available to professional teams and aspiring drivers to enable them to compete in championships across the globe – including the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). A sketch of the car, which is based on the new Polo of the sixth generation, gives a foretaste of what’s to come.

“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.”

The development of the Polo GTI R5 has been in full swing since the start of the year, with initial test drives planned for this year. The experience gained from the successful WRC era is being incorporated directly: Volkswagen Motorsport Technical Director François-Xavier “FX” Demaison, father of the record winning Polo R WRC, is responsible for the development of the Polo GTI R5. And Gerard-Jan de Jongh also brings all his expertise as the senior project engineer. The Dutchman was previously Sébastien Ogier’s race engineer; Ogier won the drivers’ title with Volkswagen four times in a row.

Like the production model – which is due to be launched at the end of this year – the Polo GTI R5 has a powerful four-cylinder turbo engine with direct fuel injection. Other features include four-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. This gives privateers, teams and importers the opportunity to contest national, regional and international championships with cost-effective, powerful rally cars.

For Volkswagen Motorsport, the Polo GTI R5 represents another important milestone in their strategic realignment: After the successful introduction of the Golf GTI TCR, which has brought home wins and titles in numerous championships on the circuit since 2016, Volkswagen Motorsport is expanding its involvement in customer racing to rallying.

Source: VW

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Topics: vw, vw polo, rally car

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