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Volkswagen Motorsport to take new Polo rallying. Image by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Motorsport to take new Polo rallying
New VW Polo GTI R5 will enter battle all around the world next year.
<< earlier Volkswagen article     later Volkswagen article >>


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Newer articles featuring 2018 Volkswagen Polo

2018-09-06: Driven: Volkswagen Polo GTI DSG
2018-04-20: First drive: Volkswagen Polo GTI
2018-01-11: Driven: Volkswagen Polo Beats
2017-12-05: Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 rally car revealed

What's all this about?

Volkswagen is bringing the GTI name back to rallying. Some of you may recall the Group A VW Golf GTIs of the 1980s, or the front-wheel-drive Formula 2 cars of the 1990s, but this time it's the turn of the Polo GTI to eat some gravel. Not literally of course, as that would be terrible for the engine's internals.

Wasn't there a rallying Polo just recently?

Yes, but that was an all-singing, all-dancing World Rally Car. This is a slightly tamer R5-specification machine, although as with the rest of its R5 competitors, it still has all-wheel drive, a five-speed sequential gearbox and 270hp from a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged motor.

Tell me about the R5 class.

R5 is the secondary category in the World Rally Championship (WRC), and is the premier tier in many national series around the world. Usage of production-based parts helps keep costs down, and the cars are aimed at privateer teams and drivers. The Polo GTI R5 will do battle with the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia (the current class leaders), with cars from Toyota, Proton and Citroen joining the fray in the very near future.

Will the Polo GTI R5 be competitive?

We'd almost guarantee it, as Volkswagen Motorsport dominated the WRC prior to its 2016 withdrawal following the 'Dieselgate' scandal. One of the sport's top engineers, Francois- Xavier 'FX' Demaison, is spearheading the project, and the team has years of competition experience. The fact that Skoda Motorsport has had its Fabia R5 running for quite some time now will also be a plus in terms of knowledge sharing between the Volkswagen Group companies.

Sven Smeets, technical director of Volkswagen Motorsport said, "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. 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."

Maurice Malone - 7 Nov 2017

Earlier articles featuring 2018 Volkswagen Polo

2017-09-01: First drive: 2018 Volkswagen Polo
2017-06-16: New Volkswagen Polo includes 2.0-litre GTI    - Volkswagen road tests
- Volkswagen news
- Polo images

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