VW Motorsport pulls out of developing internal combustion engines for racing
Volkswagen has confirmed that it is focusing its motorsport strategy on electric mobility. A clear emphasis on fully electric racing cars will be backed up by the farewell to factory-backed commitments using internal combustion engines. Correspondingly, Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport programme will also be electrified. The first stage will involve different disciplines, platforms and vehicle types being examined and evaluated. Parallel to this, the production of the Golf GTI TCR for the racetrack will expire at the end of 2019, and a successor based on the new generation will not be offered. Customer service and spare parts supply will be guaranteed in the long term.
The Polo GTI R5 remains an integral part of Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport offering and will continue to be produced for customer teams. The Hanover base will be responsible for continued customer support, spare parts supply and the competitiveness of the Polo. Factory-backed competition entries with the Polo GTI R5 will no longer go ahead.
“The role as a technological pioneer will continue to be taken over by the ID.R electric race car, which has set important milestones for electric mobility with records at Pikes Peak, the Nürburgring, Goodwood and Tianmen in China,” says Dr Frank Welsch, member of the board of management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand with responsibility for technical development. “In addition, Volkswagen Motorsport will develop new motorsport concepts for the ID. family on the basis of the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), on which numerous electric production vehicles will be based.
“Now is the time for the next step towards the future: in motorsport, Volkswagen is resolutely committing to e-mobility and will say goodbye to factory-backed commitments using internal combustion engines. In addition to the ID.R as a technological pioneer, the MEB will in future be the second, production-related pillar in Volkswagen’s motorsport programme.
“Electric mobility offers enormous development potential, and in this regard motorsport can be a trailblazer: on the one hand, it serves as a dynamic laboratory for the development of future production cars and, on the other, as a convincing marketing platform to inspire people even more towards electric mobility,” says Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets. “That is why we are going to focus more than ever on factory-backed electric drive commitments and continue to expand our activities with the development of the MEB. Innovative technology relevant to the car of the future is our focus.”