According to a statement released on Friday, Volkswagen is shutting down all motorsports ventures that incorporate an internal combustion engine.
The move underscores VW’s commitment to electric vehicles (EVs). It comes as a surprise to the world of motorsports, as the decision affected racing series ranging from the World Rally Championship to the World Touring Car Championship.
The switch only affects Volkswagen-branded vehicles and not Porsche or Audi.
“Volkswagen is fully committed to e-mobility and will say goodbye to factory-supported commitments using internal combustion engines,” said Frank Frank Welsh, member of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand’s management board.
Sven Smets, motorsport director for VW, further commented: “There is a lot of potential for growth in electric mobility, and in this regard, motorsport can be a trailblazer: on the one hand, it is a dynamic laboratory for developing future production cars And, on the other hand, as a solid marketing platform, driving people to even more electric mobility For.
That’s why we’re going to focus more on factory-supported electric drive commitments than ever and continue to expand our activities with the development of MEB.
The innovative technology was relevant to the car of the future. The focus is there. ”
Production of the Golf GTI TCR for the racetrack will end in late 2019, and a successor will not be offered based on the new generation.
Long-term customer service and supply of spare parts will be guaranteed.
At the World Rally Championship, customers will continue to manufacture and supply cars, however, there will be no official factory participation. The same would be true for the Sebastian Loeb Racing World Touring Car Cup team.
VW is no stranger to fielding successful electric-powered race cars. It currently holds records at the Peak Peak International Hill Climb, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Tianmen Mountain Hillclimb. The new ID.R Electric Prototype also holds a lap record in Nurbragging.
Curiously, it was just two days before VW’s US media site announced a 2020 project by Rage Milan Racing to field a Class 7 (midsized pickup truck) for the Baja 1000, including the former The 2.0-liter internal combustion engine used by the WW Polo WRC was characterized Car.
The vehicle is to be driven by the VW brand ambassador and championship-winning race driver, Tanner Fall. Rhys Millen’s phone calls went unanswered.