The road to sustainable electric mobility is also open to motorsport. Volkswagen will no longer develop racing cars equipped with combustion engines, in order to focus on vehicles with electric drivetrains.
Volkswagen’s electric future not only concerns mobility, but also motorsport. Backed by its long heritage, after dominating the World Rally Championship for four straight years between 2013 and 2016, Volkswagen took the decision to focus its efforts on electric drive.
“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 Mountain (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,” said Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand with responsibility for Technical Development.
Electric Racing Car of the Year
The Volkswagen ID.R has recently been presented with the “Electric Racing Car of the Year” award by Auto Bild magazine. The award recognises the technology and performance of the 680 hp electric racing car, which has set five records in four countries, on three different continents, over the past two years.
The adventure began in 2017, to prove the possibilities of electric technology, not just in terms of sustainability and mobility, but also performance. “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,” Welsh added. “The MEB will in future be the second, production-related pillar in Volkswagen’s motorsport programme.”
A dynamic laboratory
“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 this technology,” explained Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “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 platform. Creating innovative technology relevant to the car of the future is our focus.”
Correspondingly, Volkswagen Motorsport’s customer sport programme will also be electrified, involving different disciplines, platforms and vehicle types.