The fallout from the Volkswagen Group’s diesel-emissions scandal has led to this double-whammy pull-out by the companies’ top brass. And that’s sad for fans, who enjoyed the incredible machines on show in both disciplines, being put to great use by a roster of top pedallers in countless thrilling showdowns on the racetracks and rally stages of the world.
It’s also ironic that after some rather underhand and illicit bending of the rules, irritatingly referred to as ‘dieselgate’, we’re all going to be denied watching and marvelling at incredible, super-hi-tech wizardry from both camps.
Motorsport U-turns by major manufacturers are not new, of course, and rallying’s had its fair share of dropped bombshells down the years. It’s a fickle business, especially when big firms get involved, so it’ll keep happening, but it doesn’t stop us having those ‘we’ll miss them when they’re gone’ feelings.
These five manufacturers evoked such feelings among the bobblehat-and-anorak fraternity. They enjoyed huge amounts of success in motorsport’s roughest and toughest arena, creating some iconic cars and reaping the rewards in road-car sales and engineering nous, but when the regulations changed or the boardroom axe-wielders cried ‘enough’, they were gone.