Earlier this month, Volkswagen confirmed that it will join the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2013 and gave a preview of its rally machine. Called the Polo R WRC, the three-door supermini’s body has prominent ‘R’ branding, which is also in the car’s name as well.

While VW has previously shot off the possibility of a hot ‘Polo R’ by its performance division, this latest development hints otherwise. Autocar UK followed up on that and have got some positive response from a VW bigwig.

“You can see how the World Rally Championship programme would increase the probability of an R version of the base model (Polo),” Ulrich Hackenberg, VW Member of the Management Board, Development Division told the mag. Timeframe? “It is with the rally programme, not before it. I can’t give a precise date, but it’s along those lines,” he revealed.

At the reveal, Dr Ulrich also said that “the new Technical Regulations of the WRC are an ideal fit for Volkswagen’s philosophy with respect to the development of production vehicles.” The Polo R WRC will have “near 300 hp” from a 1.6-litre TSI engine that’s turbocharged and direct injected.

So what we know now is that a hot Polo tuned by R GmbH is in the works, but won’t surface till at least 2013. The current hottest Polo is the GTI, which puts out 180 PS and 250 Nm from just 1.4-litres of twincharged TSI engine. To top that, the ‘Polo R’ will need at least Golf GTI levels of power, which should make it one hell of a pocket rocket.

While the R may be a long way from production, we hear that the Polo GTI may be coming to our shores in the near future, not a surprise since VGM did bring in the previous-gen car. No stick shift though; the new Polo GTI is mated exclusively to a 7-speed DSG.

Click here to see a video of the Polo R WRC.