Volkswagen has officially revealed the Polo GTI R5, a sporty variant of the new Polo GTI that has been developed specifically for global rallying.
The four-wheel drive rally car, which is based on the sixth and latest generation of the new Polo, was introduced to the public for the first time at the official driving presentation of the Polo GTI in Mallorca on Monday evening.
Like the production model, the Polo GTI R5 gets a straight four-cylinder turbo engine with direct fuel injection, which is mounted transversely ahead of the front axle. While the capacity of the rally car is limited to 1.6 litres, it nevertheless generate 268 bhp and maximum torque of 295 lb-ft. The engine is allied to a close-stepped, sequential, five-speed racing gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive. Weighing just 1,320 kilograms, the rally GTI is claimed to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds.
In accordance with FIA regulations, the four-door, steel chassis, which serves as the basis for the assembly, is also strengthened with a role cage and other safety components.
“The close relationship to the road-going Polo GTI is unmistakable. 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 Volkswagen Motorsport boss, Sven Smeets.
Development of the rally car is said to have been in full swing since the start of the year. Initial tests on asphalt and gravel took place in mid-November in Fontjoncouse, France, and will continue in the UK throughout December.
Volkswagen says the Polo GTI R5 will eventually be homologated in the summer of 2018, with first deliveries to customer sports teams, and the first competitive outings, planned for the second half of the year.