Volkswagen’s 2017 Rally Car To Get Polo GTI Badge

VOLKSWAGEN PLANSTO rename its Polo R WRC (World Rally Championship) contender the Polo GTI, according to an official with close ties to the German car maker’s chairman, Herbert Diess. The move is intended to provide a closer link between VW’s motorsport engagement and its second best-selling model line. The renaming, to be made public at an official unveiling of the new 2017 Polo-based WRC car later this month, adds momentum to a third-generation Polo GTI currently under development. Set to crown the new Polo line-up, the front-wheel-drive hot hatch will go on sale in the UK in early 2018.

WRC Polo GTI will be unveiled later this month

WRC Polo GTI will be unveiled later this month

It will feature a more powerful engine than the 189bhp turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol unit used by today’s model. Earlier plans for the introduction of a four-wheel-drive Polo R, hinted at by a prototype driven by Autocar in 2014, have been cancelled as part of a wide-ranging cost-cutting programme instigated in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal. That left the four-wheel-drive Polo R WRC and its name without a direct connection to a production Polo model. In 2012, Volkswagen celebrated its entry in the WRC with the unveiling of the limited-edition Polo R WRC Street. Just 2500 examples of the front-wheel-drive hatchback were built between September 2013 and March 2014. It ran a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that delivered 217bhp.

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