New Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 rally car unveiled

Volkswagen has unveiled the latest rally car variant of its Polo – the new Polo GTI R5. Unveiled in Mallorca, it's set to help the German brand conquer rally stages once again.

The new Polo GTI R5 utilises the experience and expertise that VW's motorsport arm used to develop the old Polo WRC car. That was a massive success, going on to win four consecutive world titles between 2013 and 2016.

The new model shares its DNA with the upcoming Polo GTI, right down to the engine block. It's an identical 1.6-litre displacement due to rally regulations but has been tuned to produce 286bhp. With a kerb weight of just 1,320kg, it's a real pocket rocket, sprinting from 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds.

The engine's mated to a lightweight five-speed sequential gearbox and permanent all-wheel drive for maximum traction on challenging rally stages.

Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets said: "Presenting the new Polo GTI R5 to the public was a magnificent moment.

"The close relationship to the road-going Polo GTI is unmistakable. Our team and the colleagues at Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg, Germany, deserve great credit for this. Over the coming months, the Polo GTI R5 must prove itself in a series of tough scenarios, in order to ensure that it can build on the success of its predecessor in the customer's hands."

The Polo GTI R5 is set for FIA homologation in summer next year, and is expected to take to the dirt in autumn 2018 when customer sports teams will start receiving the cars.

Related video: In-depth tour of the VW Polo R

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