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Volkswagen's next rally car: Meet the Polo GTI R5

2017-12-05 08:50

Image: Newspress

 • New Polo GTI for global rallying
 • 200kW turbo engine, all-wheel drive
 • FIA homologation in late summer
 • Race debut planned for autumn 2018

Wolfsburg - The stage is set for the rally GTI as Volkswagen debuts its new Polo GTI R5. 

The all-wheel drive rally car for customer sports, 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. 

The development of the new rally sports car incorporated the experience and know-how acquired whilst winning four world titles in the pinnacle of rallying, the WRC, from 2013 to 2016.

Initial tests successful

Development of the Polo GTI R5 has 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 Great Britain in December. 

Image: Newspress

Four-cylinder turbo

Like the production model – the new Polo GTI – the Polo GTI R5 has a four-cylinder turbo engine with direct fuel injection, which is mounted transversely in front of the front axle. The capacity of the rally car is limited to 1.6 litres, in accordance with regulations.

This is sufficient to generate 200kW/400Nm. A close-stepped, sequential, five-speed racing gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive achieve outstanding acceleration on any surface – whether asphalt, gravel or snow. Weighing just 1320kg, the rally GTI accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds.

Image: Newspress

The four-door, steel chassis, which serves as the basis for the assembly, is manufactured at the production plant in Pamplona, Spain. In accordance with FIA regulations, it is strengthened with a role cage and other safety components. The Polo GTI R5 will be homologated in the summer of 2018. The first deliveries to customer sports teams, and the first competitive outings, are planned for the second half of the year.

In 2012, the International Automobile Federation FIA passed the R5 regulations for a new generation of rally cars, aimed primarily at customer teams, talented youngsters and privateers. Since then, more than 400 cars have been produced by five different manufacturers and have been in action in national and international championships all over the world.

Image: Newspress

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