Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 revealed - update!

UPDATE, 1030h, 05/12/2017:
Here we are then, a first proper look at the R5 Polo GTI in all its wide arched glory. Looks rather good if you ask us, wheels tucked up in the arches, roof scoop prominent and exhaust centrally placed. We're less sold on the rather aftermarket-looking 'POLO' grille but, hey, you can't have everything.

Centre-exit exhaust? Nice!
Centre-exit exhaust? Nice!
With the technical details already released, there's little more to add for VW now than a few very satisfied soundbites. "In the rally Polo, the GTI family has another spectacular ambassador. Our team and the colleagues at Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg deserve great credit for this", said Motorsport Director Sven Smeets.

The car is expected to be homologated in the summer, with first competitive outings slated for the second half of 2018. And who would bet against it enjoying some success?

While PH is now only a matter of days from trying the new Volkswagen Polo GTI on the road, its namesake - the GTI R5 - has just begun testing for real on the loose. The run out offers us a first look at the customer-aimed rally car - which, until now, has only been shown in sneak preview renderings.

Hope that GoPro survived
Hope that GoPro survived
Those images suggested that the GTI would continue in the same good-looking vogue as the all-conquering Polo R WRC - and so it proves, the R5 hardly losing anything in the transition from fifth generation underpinnings to sixth. And while it won't be competing in the headline competition, 270hp, a five-speed sequential 'box and all-wheel-drive make it sound a little more spirited than the exclusively front-drive, 200hp road car.

Volkswagen test driver Dieter Depping and Swedish WRC2 champion Pontus Tidemand have been in the hot seat for the testing, carried out in Fontjoncouse, France. "A successful first test is a good sign and great motivation," said a satisfied Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets. "After the many hours and weeks spent working on our latest customer racing project on the computer, in the design process and in the workshop, the Polo GTI R5 can now finally show what it is capable of out on the road."

Coming to a stage late in 2018...
Coming to a stage late in 2018...
According to the team, the route began with a few kilometres of asphalt to work on the setup, followed by two days on gravel; precisely the same gravel that Volkswagen used for testing the original Polo R WRC in 2011 - before it took four consecutive titles between 2013 and 2016.

The manufacturer took its leave from the competition after that, and has now opted to expand its customer-based racing programme instead. From 2018, the GTI R5 will be offered to professional teams looking to compete in a variety of national and global championships - most notably the WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (7) Join the discussion on the forum

  • huckster6 27 Nov 2017

    I do like the view at the front. It reminds me of a Walkinshaw Rover SD1 ETC masterpiece.

  • andymac 27 Nov 2017

    Road going version please ? Even limited numbers like it used to be ,to be able to compete .
    Would need a rule change though .

  • Nick928 27 Nov 2017

    andymac said:
    Road going version please ? Even limited numbers like it used to be ,to be able to compete .
    Would need a rule change though .
    This is exactly what's needed to allow the public to relate to the WRC today.
    Group B (sorry, had to raise it) had this. Admittedly not many people could afford to buy an RS200 or 6R4 in roadgoing form but the link to the road car was there.

  • ELUSIVEJIM 27 Nov 2017

    Why did they not just allow private teams to use the Polo WRC in 2017?

    To develop a car that far on and to then just scrap it makes no sense especially when they now create a R5.


  • 1781cc 05 Dec 2017

    I honestly thought that was a civic Type R from the thumbnail pic...

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