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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.

Filip Mareš has earned the support of one of Czech Republic’s best ever rally drivers following his impressive maiden season in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Romain Dumas is swapping the stages of the FIA European Rally Championship for the 6.120-kilometre Circuito da Guia, venue of this week’s FIA GT World Cup.

Dávid Botka continued his strong end-of-season run with fifth place on Rallye Waldviertel in Austria last weekend.

Castrol Ford Team Turkey’s run of success in the FIA European Rally Championship is set to continue in 2018 when the Istanbul squad embarks on its third successive ERC campaign.

Julian Wagner had not one but three reasons to celebrate at the finish of Rallye Waldviertel on Saturday evening.

Raimund Baumschlager, who guided Marijan Griebel to the inaugural FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship crown this season, has extended his record-breaking tally of Austrian rally titles to 14 following his success on Rallye Waldviertel today.