If you follow the World Rally Championship as obsessively as we do, you'll know Volkswagen ended its factory rally program in 2016, putting that money toward rectifying the Dieselgate scandal instead. Though it no longer field cars in the championship, the company still sells customer racing machines with factory support. The Polo GTI R5 you see here is its latest offering, and it looks massively capable.
The VW Motorsport team was filmed testing its newest Polo R5 outside of Aquila d'Arroscia, a small town in northwestern Italy. YouTuber Luca Rally caught the car cutting through tight, gravel-filled singe-lane roads, getting sideways and flinging rocks everywhere. Despite the rough terrain, it looks exceptionally quick. And there's no shortage of wastegate flutter noises from that 272-horsepower 1.6-liter engine.
The current GTI R5 has been competing in customer hands for about a year, so an update now makes sense. Any improvements VW has planned have yet to be revealed. We're curious to see just how much more the team can squeeze out of the Polo's compact package on-stage.
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