The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 WRC Car Is the Hot Hatch You Wish You Could Buy

This is Volkswagen’s latest World Rally Championship rally racer. A 272 hp, turbocharged four-cylinder all-wheel drive Polo.

The Polo GTI R5 starts with a standard production Polo chassis. But it doesn’t stay standard for long. It starts with an FIA spec roll cage. Then there’s that engine. The 1.6L four-cylinder makes 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The gearbox is a five-speed racing unit instead of the dual-clutch setup of the stock Polo GTI.

The stage ready Polo is lower, wider, and it has a massive rear wing and front splitter. It looks like a caricature of a Polo, but Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets said that “the close relationship to the road-going Polo GTI is unmistakable.” In that they have the same name, and roughly the same profile.

The GTI R5 can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, it can probably get close to that number on any surface you’d care to try it.

The newest WRC Polo won’t be run as a factory car. VW ended their factory effort after the championship-winning 2016 season. But this car will be sold to privateer teams. The car has been tested on roads in France and is headed to Great Britain this month.

The latest rally effort from Wolfsburg is expected to get FIA homologation this summer, with deliveries and the first rally appearance expected late next year.