Volkswagen teases 266bhp rally-ready Polo GTI R5

Volkswagen's next hot supermini to enter competition with new WRC2-ready, customer only offering

Volkswagen has teased a new rally-ready version of the next-generation Polo GTI, which will be offered to customer motorsport outfits next year.

While Volkswagen ended its participation as a works outfit in the World Rally Championship at the end of the 2016 season, the firm says that new Polo rally car - based on the new sixth-generation version of the supermini - will be up to the standard required for privateers to compete with it in world rallying’s WRC2 division.

Best superminis on sale 2017

Called the Polo GTI R5, it joins the Golf GTI TCR as another Volkswagen motorsport effort made available purely for customer teams. The German marque says it has been developing the car since the start of 2017, and while it won’t be available for purchase until halfway through 2018, initial shakedowns are set to take place before 2017 is out.

Lessons learned from Volkswagen’s fruitful stint as a full WRC outfit – resulting in four back to back world championships – have been applied to the Polo GTI R5. Key people involved with Volkswagen’s WRC entry have worked on the R5, with the project headed up by Volkswagen Motorsport Technical Director Francois-Xavier Demaison.

Under the bonnet, the R5 makes use of a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine developing 266bhp. Power is delivered to a four-wheel-drive system via a five-speed sequential gearbox.

Volkswagen hasn’t issued an official photograph of the car, but the teaser sketch leaves little to the imagination. The Polo GTI’s hot hatch form factor has morphed into a wide, aggressive looking motorsport machine, complete with a wider track and a huge rear wing. Prices have not been revealed either, but in line with Group R5 regulations, the cost to customers will be capped at £158,000. 

What do you make of the Polo GTI R5? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Recommended

Best used small cars 2021
Best used small cars
Best cars & vans

Best used small cars 2021

Our guide to the best used small cars for 2021, covering the top second hand city cars and superminis
18 Aug 2021
Volkswagen Polo review
Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo review

The Volkswagen Polo shows how sophisticated the humble supermini can get
15 Mar 2021

Most Popular

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released
Number plates
News

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released

Latest DVLA list of banned UK registrations reveals which 71-plates are too rude for the road
21 Sep 2021
Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030
Volvo interior
Volvo

Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030

New C40 Recharge will be first Volvo to be offered without the option of leather upholstery
23 Sep 2021
£6k Citroen Ami electric city car gets green light for the UK
Citroen Ami UK - front static
Citroen

£6k Citroen Ami electric city car gets green light for the UK

The Ami is coming to the UK with a price tag of around £6,000, making it one of the cheapest ways to get a new car today
22 Sep 2021