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Coming soon to the ERC: Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5

Coming soon to the ERC: Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5

07/11/2017 12:00

This is an artist’s impression of the all-new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, which will be eligible for the FIA European Rally Championship once it’s approved for competition use from the second half of 2018.

As with its road-going counterpart, due for launch at the end of the year, the Polo GTI R5 will be powered by a four-cylinder turbo engine with direct fuel injection putting out 270bhp. The rally version will also feature four-wheel drive, a sequential five-speed competition gearbox and the stringent safety requirements specified by motorsport’s world governing body, the FIA.

Respected Volkswagen Motorsport engineers François-Xavier Demaison and Gerard-Jan de Jongh have worked extensively on the project since the start of the year. Testing set to begin by the end of 2017.

“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,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven 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.”

Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5 will rival R5 cars from Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport (Ford), Peugeot and ŠKODA once homologated by the FIA.

It’s 25 days until the Azores Airlines Rallye opens the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship on 22 March. Here’s an update of what’s in store on the all-gravel spectacular in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

Aloísio Monteiro will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the upcoming FIA European Rally Championship – and ERC ace Bruno Magalhães has been showing him the ropes.

Armindo Araújo, who will contest next month’s FIA European Rally Championship season-opening Azores Airlines Rallye, claimed a top-five finish on his return to competition following a lengthy absence.

Catie Munnings is targeting yet more progress when she embarks on her second FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship campaign in 2018.

Jari Huttunen impressed on his first outing in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship, taking two class stage wins and finishing sixth in his division on Rally Sweden last weekend.

Ricardo Moura has laid down the gauntlet to the FIA European Rally Championship title contenders by winning round one of the Portuguese national series yesterday (Sunday).