Did the VW diesel scandal kill an F1 deal with Red Bull?

Red Bull Racing at 2014 Singapore GP
As the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal continues to unfold, its sheer scope begs the question of just how far-reaching an impact it will have. A new report claims it could even affect the seemingly far-off world of Formula One.

Volkswagen doesn’t have any involvement in F1, but that might have been about to change. The company was reportedly negotiating a deal to supply engines to former champion Red Bull Racing, but that deal has likely been derailed by the emissions scandal, according to Motorsport.com.

It’s not a secret that Red Bull is unhappy with its current Renault powertrains, which team principals blame for its current lack of success. Red Bull was previously rumored to be courting Volkswagen property Audi as an engine supplier, but Audi denied any plans to enter F1. While Volkswagen has no real F1 experience, Red Bull apparently thinks the company could be a valuable partner.

The alleged deal would have had Volkswagen enter F1 as a supplier of “power units” (as the combined gasoline and electric hybrid powertrains are called), and acquire Red Bull Racing from its namesake energy-drink company. Red Bull would then transition to a more traditional sponsorship role.

It’s unclear what would have happened to Red Bull Racing’s sister team, Toro Rosso, under this arrangement, or whether Volkswagen would use the team to promote itself or one of its many other brands.

That’s all immaterial now, because Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the deal “seemed to go up in smoke” after the revelation that VW installed software on diesel cars that allowed them to cheat U.S. emissions tests. The deal may not be off, but given the scope of the scandal, it’s probably fair to say that F1 isn’t a high priority right now for the VW brass.

This makes sense for Volkswagen, but it must be quite frustrating for Red Bull, which is desperate to get back into contention. The team won four championships using Renault engines, but when the current hybrid units were introduced for the 2014 season, it began falling off pace. The Renault power unit hasn’t been able to match the performance or reliability of the dominant Mercedes-Benz and more-competitive Ferrari units.

Smart Home

Amazon rejoins the fight against HIV/AIDS with a (Red) second-gen Echo

Now you can rock out to U2 and give to a good cause by buying Amazon's red Echo, a limited edition of the smart speaker that also donates money to the humanitarian organization Project (Red), founded by Bono.
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Gaming

Every rumor about the PS5, including a new game from Luminous Productions

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Cars

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Cars

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.