Volkswagen is passing on to customers the experience and know-how acquired from four World Rally Championship titles (from 2013 to 2016) in the new Polo GTI R5 rallycar. Based on the sixth and latest generation of the new Polo, the car has been through development work since the beginning of 2017.
“The close relationship to the road-going Polo GTI is unmistakable. In the rally Polo, the GTI family has another spectacular ambassador. 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 Director Sven Smeets.
“The Polo GTI R5 came through the initial tests without any problems. The feedback from the test drivers was very positive,” said Technical Director François-Xavier ‘FX’ Demaison. “It is obviously beneficial to be able to call upon an experienced team of engineers and mechanics, who helped to develop the Polo that won the world championship. And it goes without saying that, as we have in the past, we are also taking advantage of the close and excellent cooperation with the colleagues in the technical development department in Wolfsburg, as well as our Skoda colleagues, who have been offering their customers an R5 car since 2015.”
Like the production model – the new Polo GTI – the Polo GTI R5 has a powerful 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection, mounted transversely in front of the front axle. The engine size of the rallycar is limited to 1.6 litres, in accordance with regulations. This is sufficient to generate up to 272 bhp and maximum torque of 400 Nm. A close-stepped, sequential, 5-speed racing gearbox and permanent 4-wheel drive system provide strong acceleration on all kinds of surfaces. Weighing just 1,320 kgs, the rally GTI is said to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds.
The 4-door bodywork with a steel chassis is manufactured at a production plant in Spain. In accordance with FIA regulations, it is strengthened with a roll-cage and other safety components to provide protection for the occupants.
The Polo GTI R5 will be homologated in the summer of 2018 and thereafter, the first competitive outings should begin in the second half of the year.
In 2012, the International Automobile Federation FIA passed the R5 regulations for a new generation of rallycars, aimed primarily at customer teams, talented youngsters and privateers. Since then, more than 400 cars have been produced by 5 different manufacturers and have been in action in national and international championships all over the world.