Volkswagen’s Returning To Rallying With New Polo GTI R5

Volkswagen disappointed rally fans when it withdrew from the World Rally Championship at the end of last season. Now, less than a year later, the German automaker has announced its return to the rally scene, just in a very different capacity.

Instead of fielding its own Polo R WRC in the top-tier rally series, VW is preparing to offer another version of the Polo to customer teams.

Previewed for the first time in this teaser sketch, the new Polo GTI R5 is being built by the same people behind the previous version – including VW Motorsport technical director François-Xavier “FX” Demaison and Sebastien Ogier‘s race engineer Gerard-Jan de Jongh.

Full specifications haven’t been announced, but the R5 is being based on the new Polo GTI with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine employing direct injection to channel 270 horsepower to all four wheels through a five-speed sequential gearbox.

“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.”

Once it’s released in the second half of next year, the Polo GTI R5 will join the Golf GTI TCR touring car in Volkswagen’s growing customer racing portfolio. It’s a well-trodden path for the VW Group, with other divisions offering customer racing cars like the Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Bentley Continental GT3, Audi RS3 LMS, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Seat Leon Cup, and (most pertinently) the Skoda Fabia R5 that competes in the same class.

Photo Gallery

  • OdysseyTag

    Good to hear they’re back in it.

  • SteersUright

    When, on this green earth, are we ever going to get a Golf “R” or whatever that look like one of their race cars, flared DTM style fenders and all with over 1g cornering capability? 🙂 I love the idea of hot hatches, but they either look too tame or too ridiculously boy-racer. Is some DTM-style body work (flared fenders/wider track) really too much to ask for in your $40k+ “R”?

Aston Martin Will Attempt A Nurburgring Lap Record With The Valkyrie

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will likely set a new production car lap record at the Nurburgring.

Nissan Survey Finds Sedans Popular Among Younger Buyers

A survey commissioned by Nissan says 8 in 10 millennials would consider buying a four-door sedan.

Maserati Debuts V8-Powered Levante Models In The UK From £104,900

The flagship Maserati Levante Trofeo will also be available as a £159,000 Launch Edition model.

Renault Group And Nissan Partner With Waymo On Autonomous Tech

The deal is meant to explore all aspects of driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries.

Pininfarina Battista Electric Hypercar Gets A Design Update, New Color

Italy’s most powerful car ever costs €2 million and can hit 62 mph in under 2 seconds.

New BMW M3 And M4 To Be Unveiled In Mid-2020

M Division’s new compact performance coupe and sedan will be powered by the same engine as the X3/X4 M duo.

LEVC Debuts Light Van Version Of Its Electrified London Taxi

The new commercial van comes with a range-extender petrol four that offers a 377-mile maximum range.

This Looks A Lot Like The New-Generation Renault Kangoo

The revamped Kangoo looks more modern, and very similar to the Z.E. Concept.

New Nissan e-NV200 Concept Previews The Ice Cream Van Of The Future

Nissan and Mackie’s of Scotland want to take ice cream vans to the 21st century.

2020 Kia Seltos Unveiled As The Company’s New Small SUV For Global Markets

The Kia Seltos will be made in India and Korea and will go on sale in Q2.