Volkswagen has announced that Jost Capito, German motorsport manager extraordinaire, will lead the company’s “R” performance division.
Among the list of Capito’s many accomplishments throughout his career, one item might make him of interest to Ford fans: he oversaw the development of the Mk I Ford Focus RS, which breathed new life into Ford’s storied Rallye Sport badge. The car never made its way to the United States, but it was essentially a better, more specialized version of the Ford Focus SVT introduced for 2002 (sold as the “ST170” in Europe).
The Mk I Focus RS also won the manufacturers’ title in the World Rally Championship in 2006 and 2007, and served as the forebear to the excellent Mk III Focus RS that’s sold in America today.
Jost Capito started his career with BMW’s high-performance-engine division in the 1980s, moving on to Porsche’s racing division in 1989. He spent a decade with Ford in the 2000s, before jumping ship to work for Volkswagen from 2012. Under his leadership, VW subsequently won titles in World Rally in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
In his new post, Capito succeeds Ulrich Richter, who’s been Managing Director of Volkswagen’s “R” performance unit since 2009.