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AWD Volkswagen Polo R on the way, similar spec to Audi S1

Volkswagen is set to launch a super-hot Polo R as a little brother to the cracking Golf R. The performance hatch will come with a similar running gear as seen in the Audi S1 quattro.

Volkswagen-Polo-R-WRC limited edition

Aside from the Audi S1, there are no other compact hatches on the market that offer the performance of a potent engine along with the grip of all-wheel drive. This is a new segment.

Volkswagen will soon change the game with a hot new Polo R featuring an iteration of the EA888 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder (Golf GTI) engine, producing around 170kW, hooked up to a Haldex 5 all-wheel drive system.

The current Polo comes with a fairly old-school torsion beam rear suspension layout. But for the R, it is set to come with a redesigned independent arrangement similar to what is seen under the Audi S1.

It’s believed the new variant will debut with the facelifted Polo next year, which is based on the current PQ25 platform. A six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch auto are expected to be on offer.

Unlike the front-wheel drive Polo R WRC limited edition (pictured), the Polo R will become a regular model in the company’s showroom range. It will be a way of connecting Polo World Rally Car fans with similar yet accessible Volkswagen products.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.