Peugeot's WRX team goes up in smoke as the company moves toward electric motorsport
After last month's reveal of two new hybrid motors, Peugeot has revealed that it's planning to take its electrified range in a sporty direction for 2020, and that, like Audi, it will be pulling out of World Rallycross because it feels WRX is dragging its feet on electric racing.
The term "electrified" signals that the new sports car range won't be completely battery-powered, leaving plenty of room for hybrids, but the emphasis will definitely be on performance, as Peugeot will develop the new sports range in conjunction with its many motorsport teams. We look forward to learning more.
As for WRX, Peugeot will be pulling out of competition at the end of the 2018 season, citing "uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the WRX thermal championship towards an electric mode by 2021."
Initially, WRX had planned for its headline class to be fully electric as early as 2020, and Peugeot was among the most vocal supporters of this plan. But when the championship announced it would delay electrification until 2021, Audi announced it was pulling out in favor of DTM and Formula E racing – now Peugeot has followed suit.
"This competition is disconnected from the PEUGEOT brand's electrification schedule," said Peugeot CEO Jean-Phillippe Imparato in a statement, "which is being carried out in accordance with the plan established with an initial offer as early as 2020. Driving pleasure is at the heart of the brand's history. Electrification is a new opportunity to offer new high-performance versions to our customers looking for low-emission sports sensations. Driving sensations will be amplified by the performance provided by electrification."