Volkswagen to end non-electric motorsport programmes

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In the round-up: Volkswagen says it will focus its future factory-backed motorsport programmes on electric racing.


Snapshot: Volkswagen cuts non-electric factory motorsport projects

Volkswagen ID. R, Nurburgring Nordschleife, 2019
Volkswagen ID.R, Nurburgring Nordschleife, 2019

Volkswagen’s programmes such as the ID.R, which has set electric racing car records at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, Pikes Peak, Goodwood and Tianmen (top), will be its priority in future. The manufacturer will end its production of the Golf GTi TCR and it will not produce a replacement touring car, and there will be no more factory-backed programmes for the Polo GTi R5.

“Electric mobility offers enormous development potential and in this regard motorsport can be a trailblazer,” said Volkswagen motorsport director Sven Smeets.

“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.

“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.”

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Comment of the day

Isn’t Artem Markelov getting a bit long in the tooth as a Formula 2 driver?

In my opinion, the point of feeder series is to, well, feed the higher series. There is something seriously wrong somewhere (not enough seats in F1, too much money poured into F2 by sponsors who want to keep their drivers there, etc.) if there are these “old timers” going round season after season.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Volkswagen to end non-electric motorsport programmes”

    1. @keithcollantine, I think your headline above VW article should read ” VW cuts combustion motorsport” not ” cuts non-combustion motorsport”.

      1. @hohum: Keith was probably electric with excitement when his carbon fingers mis-printed it. ;-)

    2. VW expected corporate sycophancy to “green” , Elkaan well what more can be said when he is Ferrari President.

      Nice link to a great article on Lauda Hamilton relationship. One problem of famous people is shown when Hamilton says Lauda was “real”. Many just change themselves when dealing with a famous person.

    3. Don’t really post here much anymore but I’ve been just thinking about something you did on here (back when this site was F1Fanatic) Keith 10 years ago and ran a feature on the best races of the noughties, including a poll in which we voted on. I liked that article a lot and I was thinking; could you do that again? Brazil last week might rank up there, so will Germany this year, Baku 2017, Brazil 2012 and Canada 2011 as well are contenders. Just a suggestion.

      1. @walsh-f1 Very good idea, but IMO best shouldn’t be confused with most exciting like these safety car races.

    4. Damn, Seabass. Hope you land somewhere

      There it is then, the official end to VAG even considering developing any kind of PU for F1. And I don’t see anyone else having the resources or expressed any real interest to get into the game.

      1. @uneedafinn2win, the odds of VW ever developing an engine for F1 were rather slim anyway. They took part in negotiations over the current rule package – Newey has claimed that the only reason the original rule package was a four cylinder inline engine was because VW asked for it – only to then back out anyway.

        They’ve never seemed especially keen on it anyway – the only part that might have been interested might have been Porsche, but we’ve seen how VW has redirected their programmes from the WEC to Formula E instead. VW’s been cutting back their motorsport programmes for some time now – they’d cut their rallying projects and they’d withdrawn from the WEC, so to some extent they’d already been signalling a declining interest in conventional motorsport series for a few years now.

    5. So definitely no VW in F1 unless F1 were to become fully-electric series someday, nor return to WRC.

    6. It’s great to see Brendon back behind the wheel of a racing car. I hope he does well.

    7. World wide 30% of all cars are gigantic SUVs and in the “west” thats nearer to 50%.
      Cars are just getting heavier and heavier.

      1. Another innovation pioneered by F1 :P

        1. @coldfly Hahaha, fantastic! ;)

          1. In some areas around here (N of the 49th) it is closer to 90% for SUVs.
            They need the room to drive the tribe to the “Save The World” rally.
            Saw a trivia piece that it was currently NOT legal to drive a Tesla Model X across the Brooklyn Bridge.

    8. Formula E has already hit back at Formula 1 and will introduce a bio-battery. (link)

      1. Very sharp! :)

      2. @coldfly but F1 got state-of-the-art bio-drivers ;)

    9. I’d guess volkswagen will now fly their electric race cars around the world in electric airplanes… wait nevermind…

      1. Sam Donaldson from ABC News
        25th November 2019, 4:44

        oh very good sir….clap clap clap

    10. current technical regulations say that fuel must include 5.75% of bio-components

      I’ve read about abiotic oil, but if most people agree that we should call them fossil fuel, it’s already at 100% bio-components.

    11. About the CotD – solid point you make there @kaiie, but I disagree. I think a series can only offer a good basis if there are both promising talents, but also quite capable and relatively consistent experienced hands to measure them against.

    12. The composition on that roundup cover image is an absolute work of art.

      The car doesn’t look too shabby for a milkfloat either.

    Comments are closed.