Volkswagen To Focus Motorsport Strategy On Electric: Gives Up On Gas
VW ID.R electric cars "will play a pioneering role beyond 2019" and MEB-based racing cars are coming.
Nov 23, 2019 at 11:59am ET
By: Mark Kane
Volkswagen announced a bold move of focusing its motorsport strategy on e-mobility and saying farewell to factory-backed commitments using internal combustion engines.
The promotion of all-electric cars sounds like a reasonable strategy to us, as first EVs are the future of automotive and secondly, it would be smart to engage enthusiasts in electric racing and benefit from higher sales of BEVs after all the investment already made.
The German manufacturer said that the ID.R electric "will play a pioneering role beyond 2019", which might mean more events or maybe even some racing series.
Gallery: Volkswagen I.D. R at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed
The second thing will be the use of Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) as a future motorsport platform. That for sure means a new all-electric car and racing series.
"Volkswagen is focusing its motorsport strategy on electric mobility. A clear emphasis on fully electric racing cars will be backed up by the farewell to factory-backed commitments using internal combustion engines. The role as a technological pioneer will continue to be taken over by the ID.R electric race car, which has set important milestones for electric mobility with records at Pikes Peak (USA), Nürburgring (D), Goodwood (GB) and Tianmen (CN). In addition, Volkswagen Motorsport will develop new motorsport concepts for the ID. family on the basis of the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), on which numerous electric production vehicles will be based."
Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand with responsibility for Technical Development said:
“Volkswagen Motorsport broke new ground with the ID.R, and with its records around the world it demonstrated the enormous potential of electric drive. Now is the time for the next step towards the future: in motorsport, Volkswagen is resolutely committing to e-mobility and will say goodbye to factory-backed commitments using internal combustion engines. In addition to the ID.R as a technological pioneer, the MEB will in future be the second, production-related pillar in Volkswagen’s motorsport programme.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets said:
“Electric mobility offers enormous development potential, and in this regard motorsport can be a trailblazer: 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.”
Gallery: Volkswagen ID.R - Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road
The proof of strong electrification plans is basically the end of support for ICE racing. If other brands within Volkswagen Group will follow the Volkswagen brand, there will be a huge transition in the racing series.
"Correspondingly, Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport programme will also be electrified. The first stage will involve different disciplines, platforms and vehicle types being examined and evaluated. Parallel to this, the production of the Golf GTI TCR for the racetrack will expire at the end of 2019, and a successor based on the new generation will not be offered. Customer service and spare parts supply will be guaranteed in the long term.
The Polo GTI R5 remains an integral part of Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport offering and will continue to be produced for customer teams. The Hanover base will be responsible for continued customer support, spare parts supply and the competitiveness of the Polo. Factory-backed competition entries with the Polo GTI R5 will no longer go ahead."