You can buy a WRC specs VW Polo rally car, but not a Golf. Here’s why.

Jerrica · Dec 19, 2019 04:58 PM

Volkswagen Polo R5

There is a WRC spec Volkswagen Polo on sale for rally fans! The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 is a product of Volkswagen Motorsport as they prepared for their return to rallying in the WRC2 category.

If you’re wondering if the car is road legal, yes, it is legal to be driven on the road. The Polo GTI R5 is a rally car built to attract buyers rather than a championship winning car.

Volkswagen Polo R5

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Developing a car under the strict restrictions of WRC is tough enough, but to create a car fit for both WRC but has the ease of use to sell to customers? That’s a whole new challenge that VW Motorsport found themselves facing.

The results are… not quite as satisfying as you would think. The similarities between the Polo R5 race car and the Polo R5 road car is close to nought.

Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 front view

Even the engine is different as the race car that is used to race in WRC2 is regulated to run on a turbocharged 1.6-litre. The road going version will run on a 2.0-litre turbocharge so this car actually dispenses more power then the car’s namesake.

And if you’re getting excited over getting a manual Polo, the road going Polo R5 does not have a manual like that of the WRC2 race car Polo. It still runs on a DSG, sorry manual lovers!

Volkswagen Polo GTI standard

The standard Volkswagen Polo GTI 

While the cars are largely different, it is still a Polo developed by Volkswagen Motorsport and will definitely go faster and better than a standard Polo. And you’re still buying into a machinery that has been blessed by the engineers of the all-conquering WRC car of 2013.

And the Polo GTI R5 is not cheap, costing upwards of a 23,000 Euros. Purchasing one is also not so easy as heading to the nearest VW showroom, you will need to put in an order directly with Volkswagen Motorsport. 

Volkswagen WRC car

If you are wondering if there’s an equivalent for the Golf – no.

This is not quite the return that Volkswagen rally fans were expecting of the Volkswagen Motorsport team. When the company announced their return to the sport earlier in 2019, fans were expecting the same team that won 43 races out of 52 rally events between 2013 to 2016.

Volkswagen WRC car

VW’s return to rallying saw the team enter WRC2 category with a car built to attract buyers rather than a championship winning car.

It’s a turbulent time in the industry as mobility is shifting towards a sustainable future so it is not a surprise that VW too are putting more efforts into their range of electric cars rather than satisfying their motorsport fans.

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There isn’t a time in memory that doesn’t involve staring at cars. After discovering the excitement of watching Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Formula 1 became a major part of life. The love for cars and F1 ultimately led to a job with CAR Magazine. The untimely death of the magazine meant a hiatus from cars at lifestyle women’s magazine Marie Claire before another opportunity came knocking again.


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