Volkswagen will cease all non-electric factory-backed motorsport efforts, the firm has confirmed.
A statement from the German manufacturer said it will be placing ‘a clear emphasis on fully-electric racing cars’, with any internal combustion programmes to end beyond 2019.
This includes its production of the Golf GTI TCR racing car, which is eligible for a number of touring car series globally. According to Motorsport.com, this decision will also bring an immediate end to a TCR-regulated version of the Mk8 Golf, which is said to have been testing as recently as this week.
It remains to be seen if this will have an effect on plans for new TCR road car, or production of the outgoing Mk7.5 Golf TCR.
Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport director, 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.
.@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.
— Volkswagen Motorsport (@volkswagenms) November 22, 2019
“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 [latest Volkswagen car platform]. Innovative technology relevant to the car of the future is our focus.”
The firm will continue to produce the Polo GTI R5 rally car for customer teams and provide support. It will however signal an end for any factory-backed efforts with the car.