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WRC: 15 hot new VW Polo GTI Rally cars delivered to teams

2018-01-26 09:53

Image: Newspress

Wolfsburg - Ahead of the 2018 rally season, Volkswagen has now provided the first 15 customers with information on the delivery of their new Polo GTI R5.

Development of the four-wheel drive rally car for the customer sports scene, which is based on the new sixth-generation Polo, began at the start of last year, and the new car was presented to the public for the first time in December. Demand for the new rally Polo is great – not least because the Polo GTI R5 incorporates all the know-how of its predecessor, which won four world titles in the pinnacle of rallying, the WRC.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets said: "We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback on the Polo GTI R5.

“The customer demand is enormous. We are obviously pleased about this, and it is an additional motivation to provide the teams with the best possible rally car."


A powerful little car

15 of the 202kW Polo GTI R5 are set to be delivered to the first customers in the second half of this year. Three cars will be sent to Austria and the Baumschlager Rallye & Racing GmbH team run by Austria rally champion Raimund Baumschlager, who won the 2017 Austrian Rally Championship with a Polo R WRC.

Three cars have also been sold to teams from Belgium: two to BMA and one Polo GTI R5 to THX Racing.

Two Polo GTI R5s will be on their way to the Printsport Oy team in the home of rallying, Finland. Printsport has succesfully implemented projects with young and talented drivers like Esapekka Lappi, Ole Christian Veiby and Jari Huttunen. They currently have Lukasz Pieniazek from Poland and Emil Lindholm, son of multiple Finnish champion Sebastian Lindholm, in their team. A further two Polo GTI R5s will be run by the HK Racing team in Italy. One rally GTI will also be sent to Portugal. And a GTI R5 has also been sold to Sweden and Kristoffersson Motorsport.

The longest journey – almost 11 000km – will be undertaken by three Polo GTI R5s, as they are shipped to the South American country of Paraguay. Miguel Carrizosa, a Volkswagen importer in Paraguay, will run the cars at national events there.

Juliane Gründl, head of sales and distribution at Volkswagen Motorsport said: “We assemble each car by hand in our workshop in Hannover.

"We are on schedule. However, we are still in the process of structuring production, and in the implementation phase in the aftersales area. We obviously want to be ideally positioned in time for the sales launch."


Image: Newspress

Four-cylinder turbo engine

Like the production model the Polo GTI R5 has a powerful straight 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 an impressive 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 1 230 kilograms, the rally GTI accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds.

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.

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