Rallycross Beetle Will Return to ARX Next Year, if There’s an ARX to Return To

Last weekend’s Americas Rallycross (ARX) race wasn’t just the final race of the season, it could be the final race for the ever-victorious Beetle RX. That’s because of a confluence of uncertainty surrounding the car.

Not only is the Beetle kicking the bucket but ARX could also be, too. Americas Rallycross picked up where the Red Bull Global Rallycross left off when its creditors came-a-knocking. But the switchover was sudden, and whereas last season’s calendar had eight races, this weekend’s only had four.

And now, there’s no guarantee that ARX will return. The good news for fans of rallycross, though, is that VW and its partner, Andretti Racing, want to race again next year. And if they do, the Beetle will be back.

First sent into duty in 2014, the Beetle RX is effectively a reworking of the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s Polo RX Supercar (which also won its championship in Austin this weekend). From the beginning, it was among the fastest on track, and with Scott Speed at the wheel has won every American rallycross championship it entered since 2015.

Just before the 2018 season started, though, GRC folded after Subaru, Honda, and Volkswagen all walked away due to disagreements with management. The GRC then went on to sue Subaru. The series, represented Michael “Yes That Michael Avenatti” Avenatti, alleged that Subaru went back on binding commitments to race in the GRC.

At the time, GRC said it would try to reorganize and start back up in 2019, but so far no announcement has been made. Similarly, ARX has made no announcements about a second season next year.

There’s no clear reason to think that ARX will end, though. All the teams seem happy to keep racing and at last weekend’s finale, the mood was anything but terminal. Announcers were encouraging fans to think of Speed’s championship as the first of many and an Andretti Autosport representative spoke to us only about expanding the series calendar to include more races, saying that last year’s GRC season of eight races was the sweet spot.

Concerns about teams’ ability to continue racing in Europe—shipping the cars to England for this season’s opening round meant the cars were in transit for six weeks in total–may affect the makeup of a next season.

Regardless, Volkswagen wants to race the Beetle into its final year of production, 2019. What happens after that is unclear, but with no Beetle to promote, VW may turn its attention to electric vehicles. As it has said before, an EV rallycross series is of particular interest to the brand and may be a natural next step for both VW and Andretti, who race EVs in Formula E.