As result of the rallying successes of the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, Volkswagen Motorsport is fine tuning and optimising the GTI R5 following on from the experiences of customer teams.
The 200-kW (272-PS) four-wheel drive Polo GTI R5 is used in a diverse range of rallies all over the world, and the ﬁndings made during these rallies have been fed directly into the process of updating and maintaining the car. The revised GTI R5 will be getting modiﬁed suspension parts in the spring, while new components for some of the other key areas of the car will be developed over the course of 2020.
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets said that “The success story of the Polo GTI R5 is overwhelming. In customer hands, it had already claimed more than 75 victories and 125 podium ﬁnishes by the end of 2019. However, it is not only the success of our customers that is important to us, but also their experience in a wide range of conditions – whether on asphalt, gravel, or ice and snow. Our engineers use this feedback to make detailed improvements to the Polo GTI R5. Our goal is to ensure that the Polo GTI R5 remains successful.”
Customers are already using new chassis components but a larger package of detailed improvements will be developed over the course of this year and homologated for use in competitions which will include the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), and national championships. Due to the big demand for the car, Volkswagen is stepping up production of the vehicle, with 20 percent more Polo GTI R5’s than were initially planned, being built in 2020, and production continuing well beyond 2020.
François-Xavier “FX” Demaison, who is Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport, said “As is well known, if you are not moving forward, you are always moving backward in the world of motorsport. As such, it is hugely important to be constantly working on ideas and solutions for improved performance and durability. Thanks to the comprehensive feedback we receive from our customers, we have been working on updates for the Polo GTI R5 since last year and the ﬁrst detailed improvements are already being delivered to customers.”
Countless amounts of data and feedback have been collected and analysed from teams and drivers currently running the GTI R5 in series from as far away as the Arctic Circle to Africa, and North and South America to Europe. The process has been made far simpler by Volkswagen introducing a professional feedback system for customers to use.
For more information please visit: https://volkswagen-motorsport.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Volkswagen Motorsport