“The Volkswagen brand is on its way to becoming the leading provider of sustainable e-mobility. To this end, we are pooling our strengths, and we have decided to terminate the Volkswagen brand’s motorsport activities,” said Frank Welsch, the head of the company’s development efforts, in a statement.
Seeing a wide-bodied Polo crest a hill a foot off the ground is unforgettable, but racing flies directly into the teeth of Volkswagen’s electrification efforts. It’s expensive, so it’s difficult for executives to continue funding it while simultaneously investing approximately $86
Racing is out, then, and electric production cars are in. Even the battery-powered ID.R (pictured above) will whir into the pits for the last time after setting records on Pikes Peak and at the Nürburgring
Volkswagen pledged none of its employees will lose their job due to its decision. 169 people work at its Motorsport division’s headquarters in Hanover, Germany. They will be offered a position at the carmaker’s global headquarters in nearby Wolfsburg in the coming months, according to the firm. Welsch noted the knowledge gained from the ID.R project — including lessons in a battery’s power density — will permeate future road cars.
Enthusiasts will still be able to purchase spare parts for recent factory-built race cars, including the Polo GTI R5 and the Golf GTI TCR. Production of the Polo GTI R5, the firm’s last racing model, will end in the coming weeks.
Volkswagen’s decision is a significant blow to fans around the world, and to event organizers on all levels of the racing hierarchy, but the bright side is that the other companies owned by the Wolfsburg-based group plan to keep competing in the coming years — at least for now. Audi quit DTM and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) to participate in Formula E, but it’s leaving that series after the 2021 season in order to take a shot at the grueling Dakar Rally
Performance isn’t completely dead within the carmaker, however. The eighth-generation GTI