After releasing a design sketch in November, Volkswagen has now officially unveiled its Polo GTI R5 all-wheel-drive rally car.

Based on the new, sixth-generation Polo hatchback, the GTI R5 will be made available to “professional teams and aspiring drivers” in the second half of 2018. VW says the new customer rally car incorporates the “experience and know-how” that saw the brand win four WRC titles.

Like the production model, the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 employs a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. But this one displaces 1,6 litres (in accordance with the sport's regulations) and generates 200 kW and 400 N.m.

In addition, a five-speed sequential racing transmission and permanent four-wheel-drive allow the 1 320 kg hatchback to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 4,1 seconds.

VW says development of the Polo GTI R5 has been “in full swing” since the start of the year, with initial tests on tarmac and gravel taking place in mid-November in Fontjoncouse, France.