Mike Stevens | Oct 12, 2012

Volkswagen's Polo hatch has been the subject of R-rumours since before the current model first appeared. Now, if reports out of Europe are to be believed, the Polo R is a lock.

An announcement is still to be made, but according to Britain's Autocar magazine, Volkswagen development boss Ulrich Hackenberg has confirmed a late 2013 debut for the new Polo flagship.

A decision to introduce the Polo R is a departure from the brand's original plans, but with a World Rally Championship assault on the way, marketing opportunities may have swayed the top brass.

The Polo R will likely borrow its styling from May's Polo R WRC Street concept, and it is believed the 2.0 litre turbocharged engine of the outgoing Golf 6 GTI will provide motivation.

While the regular Polo GTI offers 132kW of power, the Polo R WRC Street concept delivered a hefty 162kW. A 0-100km/h time of around 6.0 seconds is expected.

The Polo GTI is available with a seven-speed DSG auto only, but it remains to be seen if the R will get a manual option.

Front-wheel-drive is likely to remain the only layout, but expect a mechanical limited-slip differential to also appear.

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