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Volkswagen Motorsport kicks engines to the curb, goes all electric

It's the end of the road for VW Motorsport vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Volkswagen ID R Tianmen Mountain record run
VW Motorsport will be a zero-emissions effort moving forward.

Volkswagen has made it quite clear that its future is electric, but its motorsport division, appropriately called Volkswagen Motorsport, is following the leader.

This past Friday, VW Motorsport announced it has ended development of racing vehicles that feature an internal combustion engine. In translation, gasoline-powered race cars are officially a thing of the past at VW Motorsport. Instead, it's going all in on electric vehicles. Even though the division is saying goodbye to the engine as we know it, the company is excited about the things to come.

The ID R race car will remain the division's ambassador, so to speak, and the production MEB electric car platform will also spawn new zero-emissions race cars, too. The ID R has been a beast on numerous race tracks and courses around the world. It owns the electric car lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, perhaps the crown jewel of its achievements thus far.

VW Motorsport and Volkswagen see the shift to electric race cars as a double positive. On one hand, motorsport remains a wonderful area to test new technologies that could one day make their way to production cars for the street. On the other, the German automaker thinks a racing program with electric vehicles serves as a way to show people that EVs can be fun, powerful and help move public opinion.

The sweeping change will also hit VW's customer racing efforts, and sadly, the Volkswagen GTI TCR will die at the end of this year. While Americans may not know this specific hot hatch, the GTI TCR served as a customer race car for the track. The automaker confirmed there will not be a successor based on the incoming eighth generation Golf as well.

VW, as a whole, plans a major onslaught of electric cars with its MEB platform. We saw the first of its new EVs in the ID 3 this past September in Frankfurt. Next, we'll see the ID 4 SUV for production. Just recently, the automaker also showed off the ID Space Vizzion concept, which previewed an electric wagon also headed to production.

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