Audi made its mark in the woods, in the mud. The original, fire-spitting UR-Quattro was the car that dominated rally stages in the ’80s and put the brand’s name on the map. Before the Quattro, few enthusiasts ever considered Audi to be a performance brand. After the Quattro, well, the rest is history. However, despite its richmotorsport history in the mud, Audi will be pulling out of the last of its rally association — World Rallycross.
The move comes from Audi’s desire to focus on DTM and Formula E. Audi Motorsport Head Dieter Gass recently spoke with Motorsport.com to talk about the move. “Basically, we will not take part with a factory involvement in future Rallycross,” citing Audi’s hopes to focus on the two aforementioned motorsport. “We have decided to carry on Formula E and DTM and at the end of the day it’s a matter of the amount of big programes that we can afford and work on at the same time.”
He also spoke about how Audi was interesting in staying in WRX if electric powertrains were implemented. “We are involved in Formula E so we already do have a program in electric motorsport, even though we were very interested in the EWRX, [but] at the end of the day it came very much down to a choice between DTM and EWRX,” A lot of that decision is likely due to WRX pushing back electric powertrains until at least 2021.
Though, Gaas does admit that when electric powertrains are permitted, he would reconsider. “I never say never. I still think Rallycross is a very interesting concept, we will keep on looking at it and then we will make a decision. Obviously it’s too early to say yes we will, but we will keep an eye on the situation for sure.”
It makes sense for the brand to move more toward e-mobility, with the Audi e-tron on the horizon and the future of the automobile moving more and more toward electric cars. However, it’s still a bit disappointing to see Audi, the brand that built its brand and entire Quattro name in rally, to leave Rallycross.