Volkswagen revoked its factory-backed WRC program following the 2016 season, but the German automaker made its intentions clear to return to the sport via customer racing teams shortly after. Despite a lull year in 2017, VW pulled the sheets off of its all-new Polo GTI R5 rally car last year that is expected to be ready for competition this season. Now, after renders and standstill shots were revealed in December, videos of the car in action have finally surfaced.
Drivers Raimund Baumschlager and Dieter Depping were spotted testing the 270-horsepower Polo GTI R5 on the tarmac this week. Not shockingly, the racer looked to have stellar form which can be expected after the brand won four consecutive titles at the end of its World Rally Championship run.
The all-wheel-drive Polo is projected to hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.1 seconds, a feat which is achieved with plenty of supporting motorsport goodies. A sequential gearbox and turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder promote rapid acceleration in tight rally stages like this one in Austria.
“A successful first test is a good sign and great motivation,” Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets said in a previous statement. “After 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, and we can gain valuable data for the further development of the car.”
While Baumschlager and Depping aren't running the car at ten-tenths just yet, expect to see more fast-paced runnings ahead of the WRC season-opener at Monte Carlo Jan. 25-28.