Customer programme replaces Volkswagen's WRC commitment
The breaking news about Volkswagen’s withdrawal from the World Rally Championship at the end of the 2016 season, which spread all over the web on Tuesday, is confirmed by Volkswagen officials one day after a decision-making meeting in Wolfsburg.
Instead of WRC commitment, Volkswagen Motorsport would focus on the customer programme activities in the future, including World Rally Championship, Global Rallycross Championship and TCR touring car competitions.
Golf TCR, Beetle GRC and Polo R5 are the future of Volkswagen’s motorsport activities
“The Volkswagen brand is facing enormous challenges. With the upcoming expansion in the electrification of our vehicle range, we must focus all our efforts on important future technologies. We far exceeded our sporting goals in the WRC, now we are realigning Volkswagen Motorsport and moving the vehicle technology of the future more starkly into focus. At the same time, Volkswagen is going to focus more on customer racing. As well as the Golf GTI TCR on the circuit track and the Beetle GRC in rallycross, we also want to offer customers top products and will develop a new Polo according to R5 regulations,” said Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Technical Development.
Aside of Golf GTI TCR and Beetle GRC, already successful cars in competitions all over the world, Polo R5 rally car would be something completely new in the Volkswagen’s garages. The development of the new rally vehicle, based on the next generation Polo, will start in 2017 and the car would be offered to customers from 2018 onwards.