Volkswagen Motorsport has revealed its new VW Polo R5 rally car, which it will offer to its racing customers.
The 200kW, all-wheel drive rally monster was created by Volkswagen Motorsport technical director François-Xavier Demaison and Gerard-Jan de Jongh, who was five-time WRC champ Sébastien Ogier’s race engineer while Ogier drove for VW Motorsport.
The VW Polo R5 has been in development for most of 2017, with only a sketch of the car (top image) having been revealed to the public so far.
Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets says Volkswagen’s previous sporting success in the WRC will help it assist its racing customers in their own gravel-flinging endeavours.
Volkswagen Motorsports’ last Polo secured a manufacturer title before departing.
“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,” says 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.”
With Volkswagen Motorsport having last participated (and dominated) in the WRC in 2016, the 2018 season will mark a spiritual return to the competition for VW, despite not entering a factory team.
Ogier is still in the lead for the 2017 season, though is now driving a Ford Fiesta for privateer entry M-Sport, which has been the dominant force in the WRC since VW’s departure.
The FIA WRC continues next week in NSW with Rally Australia, the last round of the 2017 season.