This isn’t going to be music to the ears of petrolheads, but Volkswagen is saying goodbye to all factory-backed motorsport commitments involving internal combustion engines so that it can concentrate fully on electric mobility.
In the short term, we expect to see more exploits from the all-electric ID.R race car, as well as motorsport initiatives based on the MEB platform in the near future. Instead of a Polo WRC car getting airborne on a rally stage, we could be seeing an ID.3 hatch battling a Nissan Leaf NISMO in an all-electric touring car championship…which has yet to be mooted, sadly.
Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport programme will also be electrified and is currently in the planning stage; this also marks the end of production of the Golf GTI TCR by 2019, with no successor from the new generation Mk 8 Golf.
However, the Polo GTI R5 rally car will remain as part of Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport programme, to be supported out of its Hanover base but factory-backed entries will no longer proceed.
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group has been making steady progress towards achieving the target of halving its environment impact caused by the production of vehicles by 2025.
From 2010 to the end of 2019, the production environmental impact is expected to drop by more than 37%, based on CO2 emissions, energy use, water use and solvent use, and generated waste per produced vehicle.