Just a day after Audi confirmed it would leave the all-electric Formula E Championship, Volkswagen has confirmed it will cease all motorsport activity as it seeks to establish itself as the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles.
Last year, the German brand confirmed it would withdraw from all motorsport using an internal combustion engine, instead switching its focus to “fully electric racing cars”.
But, now the brand will no longer support any racing activities, including its all-electric ID.R prototype which will be retired after having set outright records at Goodwood and Pikes Peak, as well as holding the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record for electric cars.
A statement from Volkswagen read: “The Volkswagen brand is on its way to becoming the leading supplier in sustainable electric mobility.
“To this end, we are joining forces and have decided to discontinue our own motorsport activities for the Volkswagen brand.”
While the German manufacturer’s motorsport division directly employs 169 people, Volkswagen has confirmed there will be no redundancies as a result of the shuttering of Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH.
“The motorsport workforce will subsequently be integrated into Volkswagen AG,” said the statement.
“The deep technical expertise of the employees as well as the gained know-how from the ID.R [all-electric prototype] project will thus remain in the company and will help us to bring further efficient models of the ID family onto the road.”
Volkswagen has also assured customers of its Polo GTI R5 rally car and Golf GTI TCR touring car that parts supply will not be affected and have been “ensured for the long term” although did confirm production of the aforementioned Polo rally racer will cease at the end of 2020.
Volkswagen’s involvement in motorsport spans over five decades, both as a factory team and as technical partner to a host of categories including Formula Vee and Formula Three.
As a factory entity, Volkswagen won the World Rally Championship as a manufacturer four times between 2013-16, as well as securing the drivers’ title four times for Sebastian Ogier over the same period. Volkswagen also chalked up three Dakar victories in a row from 2009-11 with its rally-bred Touareg.
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