The Volkswagen Polo has been a mainstay of the German manufacturer since its introduction as a hatchback in 1975. The newest incarnation of this fun little car, the Polo GTI R5, is getting prepped for rally.

This isn’t a street legal version of the Polo.  The GTI R5 is designed to be a 270 hp rally car available to professional teams and competition drivers around the world. This isn’t a whim on VW’s part — they’ve been working on the development of this new rally car for the better part of a year while trying to prepare for a release sometime in the second half of 2018.

Volkswagen is no stranger to rally cars — they hold four of World Rally Championship titles all of which were won with a Polo. The minds behind the new Polo are the same minds that lead VW to their WRC victories in between 2013 and 2016. During 2017, the racing section of Volkswagen was scaled back to allow the company to focus more on consumer concerns.

The new GTI R5 is wider and squatter than the Polo that you might see cruising down the street— which is exactly what you would expect to see in a rally car. It does feature the classic GTI grille and headlights that can be found on the production model.

This new Polo isn’t ready for the track quite yet. Volkswagen will be subjecting the new GTI R5 to a series of tests and track runs before it makes its debut during the 2018 racing season.  More information will be emerging in the coming months and we can’t wait to find out the kind of power that this new rally Polo will have.