Volkswagen ID Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered User
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
VW has announced they're shutting down their racing division to spend more time and resources towards building EVs. The departments affected include the ID.R which is such a shame.

It doesn't affect other VW Group companies like Porsche or Audi, just Volkswagen.

"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.


Volkswagen quietly announced it's sending its racing division to the automotive dust bin in order to allocate more time, money, and personnel to the development of electric cars. Its decision affects several programs, including the ID.R and customer racing efforts, but it does not mean that its sister companies (like Audi) will stop racing.

"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 billion into the development of electric technologies by 2025. On a secondary but perhaps more lasting level, it's difficult to hear the incessant "our future is electric" mantra over the sound of a high-octane rally car, like the ones Volkswagen has built for the World Rally Championship (WRC).

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, among other venues.

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. Porsche also quit the WEC after dominating it for years, and it currently races in Formula E.

Performance isn't completely dead within the carmaker, however. The eighth-generation GTI and the next Golf R will both land in American showrooms as 2022 models, and hot-rodded electric cars are in the pipeline as well.
 

·
Registered User
Happy owner of a blue ID.4 FE
Joined
·
378 Posts
I believe the writing was on the wall for a long time. Racing having become a highly specialized niche sport has become less relevant to the development of regular cars over time, and for EVs that seems to be even more so from where I stand. I'm sure there are far less expensive ways to stress test new technology than maintaining an entire racing division. Good for VW!
 

·
Registered User
Joined
·
302 Posts
Aw man this sucks. I hope VW lets the ID.R out of the barn once in a while. I love seeing it blitz around a track.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top