The international automobile federation FIA has stipulated a maximum price for an eligible car in the R5 category: currently at €180,000, this limit will increase to €190,000 in 2018. ‘The price limit is, of course, a challenge for every development department. We inevitably have to make compromises because you can't simply choose the optimal solution in terms of performance which would probably also be the most expensive. It has to be affordable,' says Demaison. ‘But engineers are used to conforming with guidelines, whether they're technical or financial. And because the R5 category is about customer motorsport, these cost containment measures make perfect sense.' For instance, the fender flares of the Polo GTI R5 are not made from ultra-lightweight, expensive carbon fibre, but rather from affordable plastic.
The first batch is already sold out.
Volkswagen Motorsport wants to build 15 models of the Polo GTI R5 for customers in 2018. ‘But all these cars have already been sold. Most of them are going to Volkswagen importers who want to use them to compete in their national championships,' says Demaison. Sounds like another best-seller from Hanover. Why not just increase production? After all, there are around 600 rally cars of the R5-category in use worldwide. ‘The actual challenge in customer motorsport is supplying spare parts, which we first have to build. If a team leader in Paraguay orders a new spoiler, we can't very well say: "Ok, you'll get it in five weeks." So as soon as professional support from A to Z is guaranteed, things will really kick off.'