WRC 2 A FULL 2018
THE POLO GTI R5 PROJECT HERALDED A NEW ERA.
VOLKSWAGEN IN CUSTOMER RACING
The Polo GTI R5 project heralded a new era.
For Volkswagen Motorsport the R5 project represents a return to the field of customer racing in rallying. Not the successful outing in the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013 to 2016 has been the first outing in this business. From the year 2000 onwards, Volkswagen has built and sold the Polo approximately 180 times for entries in the Group N category – followed by more for the S1600 category. From now on, customer sport rally cars are again not only designed and developed at Volkswagen’s motorsport hub, but they are also assembled, delivered and then supplied with spare parts there.
To make sure that everything is working properly, a gradual transformation and upgrading of the location, specialists and processes started immediately after Volkswagen called time on its factory programme in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2016. The goal is to gradually extend production and logistics. “Our aspiration is not to sell as many cars as possible,” says Juliane Gründl, Head of Sales at Volkswagen Motorsport. “Our aim is to offer our customers the best service possible. As well as the actual sale itself, that also includes aftersales and spare parts logistics.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets adds: “When the decision was made to focus more on customer sport in the future, the R5 project was seen as a logical consequence. Our expertise in rallying allowed us to focus fully on efficiency – even if the alignment towards customer sport did mean a considerable restructuring at the site in Hannover.”
First Polo GTI R5 to be delivered after Rally Spain
The Rally Spain represents the competitive debut of the Polo GTI R5. Immediately after the cars first rally on the final weekend in October, work begins in Hannover on assembling and delivering the first 15 R5 Polos. A further 30 to 40 are set to follow in 2019. “We want to deliver the first 15 Polo GTI R5s by Christmas,” says Smeets. “There is far greater demand than we can meet. We are overwhelmed by the huge interest.” The first cars will be delivered to Austria, Belgium, Finland,
Italy, Paraguay, Portugal and Sweden.
The International Automobile Federation, FIA, set a maximum price for an R5 car that is ready for use. This currently stands at 190,000 euros plus VAT per car in its tarmac trim. On request, however, more performance-related options can be ordered for the Polo GTI R5 – such as lighter seats. As well as the gravel conversion kit, possible options include performance, mobility, lighting and data packages.
Simply put: along with alternative side windows and nets, available options also include front window heaters and jack, night faces for night-time rallies and more comprehensive data collection. If required, customers can book Volkswagen Motorsport engineers and mechanics for their rally outings. “It remains to be seen how high demand for that part of the business actually is,” says Gründl.
Polo GTI R5 assembled in 295 working hours
The cars are assembled within 295 working hours by teams with alternating crews of mechanics. Once assembled, before being handed over to the customer, the car is put through a carefully done shakedown at the Volkswagen test facility in Ehra-Lessien – the final and most important quality check.
With the delivery, the customers receive the extensive individual documentation that accompanies their Polo GTI R5 – as well as the necessary documents, this also includes a 140-page handbook and ‘How To’ guides for set-up and servicing. “Four to six mechanics are permanently entrusted with assembling the R5 cars,” says Juliane Gründl. “The supply of spare parts and storage logistics are also ensured by specially trained employees, some with additional qualifications. Furthermore, engineers are also permanently entrusted with the project.”
Media guide for download: Polo GTI R5 – With the world rally champion’s genes:
Media Volkswagen Motorsport
Photos:@Media Volkswagen Motorsport
25 October 2018
Categories: RRM WRC ARGENTINA 19 AÑOS