This may look like the sort of car a spotty teenager would drive; a base-spec VW Polo with a bodykit, questionable graphics and aftermarket wheels bought at Halfords. But don’t be deceived. This is a very serious bit of kit.

It’s the work of German tuner Wimmer and produces more power than a Polo R WRC rally car. The comparison is apt if slightly confusing as Wimmer’s car is also a Polo R WRC. Only it’s the road-going homologation special, of which 2500 were built for left-hand-drive markets.

Unlike the 1.6-litre, four-wheel-drive rally car, the road car has a 2.0-litre motor and front-wheel-drive. As standard, it produces a perfectly healthy 217bhp and 258lb/ft of torque, but the engine is capable of producing rather more than that.

Wimmer offers a number of upgrade kits, but the one we’re interested in is the Stage 4 package. That includes a better turbo, new air intake, beefier fuel pump, freer-breathing exhaust and quite a lot more besides. The net result is an immense 408bhp and 480lb/ft. By comparison, the rally car (officially) produces 310bhp and 317lb/ft.

We’re curious to know how well the Wimmer Polo handles all that power, as reviews of the standard car noted a lack of traction and unengaging handling. Suspension, brakes, wheels and tyres have been upgraded to cope, which should help matters.

But the lack of any extra aero devices could make the claimed top speed of 174mph an, err, interesting experience. Wimmer makes no mention of a 0-62mph time, but that would largely depend on the driver’s ability to metre out the power.

If you’re tempted, you’re looking at about £12,000 for the full package as seen here, on top of the £16,000-ish cost of a second-hand Polo R WRC. Incidentally, the rally car would set you back about half-a-million. If you could prise one out of VW Motorsport.

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By Only Motors