Volkswagen had announced its exit from the World Rally Championship last year but the German brand has now stated that it will make a comeback to the world of rallying next year.
Instead of entering rallies as a manufacturer team with the Polo R WRC car, VW said it would offer customers a rally-prepped Polo GTI R5 to participate in events.
VW released a sketch teasing the new Polo GTI R5, the development of which is ongoing with VW Motorsport technical director François-Xavier “FX” Demaison and Sebastien Ogier's race engineer Gerard-Jan de Jongh involved in the project. The same people were also instrumental in bringing out the Polo R WRC.
Volkswagen is yet to reveal technical details regarding the rally-spec Polo but has confirmed that the car is based on the new Polo GTI that gets a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine making around 270hp. Power is channeled to all four wheels via a five-speed sequential transmission.
Expected to arrive in the second half of 2018, the Polo GTI R5 will join the Golf GTI TCR touring car in VW’s customer racing line-up.
Other brands under the VW Group also offer race cars such as the Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Bentley Continental GT3, Audi RS3 LMS, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Seat Leon Cup and the Skoda Fabia R5 to customers.