"No clear position" over how WRC cars should be powered beyond 2024

The World Rally Championship has “no clear position” on how its cars should be powered beyond 2024, according to FIA rally director Yves Matton.

"No clear position" over how WRC cars should be powered beyond 2024

Current WRC cars are petrol powered, with electrification being added into the mix next season.

Under the new rules that come into effect from 2022 and last for an initial three-season spell, Rally1 cars will combine an internal combustion engine (ICE) and a 134bhp electric motor supplied by Compact Dynamics.

The cars – which are based on a bespoke spaceframe – will boast a shade over 500bhp in total.

The FIA has indicated the energy supplied by the onboard battery pack can be deployed by crews to complete liaison sections emissions-free, especially in pedestrianised and urban environments.

This can also be called upon by drivers to deliver a boost of power during sections of special stage.

World motorsport’s governing body claims that the upcoming Rally1 generation models inherit “the spectacle, aesthetic appeal and sound” synonymous with the current line-up of world cars. At the same time the technology promises to make them “more efficient” and greener” than ever.

Yves Matton, FIA Rally Director WRC

Yves Matton, FIA Rally Director WRC

Photo by: DPPI

Some have questioned if hybridisation is the best way forward for the championship, with former Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon warning it runs the risk of losing its relevancy with marques and enthusiasts.

In contrast, Toyota Gazoo Racing team boss Jari-Matti Latvala reckons plug-in hybrid technology is a “good concept”.

Asked if a halfway house was the most suitable approach, Matton told Autosport: “Rally1 is designed to be reviewed after three years, like all [WRC] regulations are.

“We expect that they will evolve but stability is vitally important.

"At the moment, it seems that there is no clear position for the future – full BEV [Battery Electric Vehicle], hydrogen fuel cell and e-fuels [synthetic fuels like methanol] all seem to have a place in the following era.

“What we do know is that motorsport will continue to do what it does best: adapt and embrace the market trends, consumer needs and societal change.

"The proposal is to review the regulations after three years, and look to implement any new technologies that are available at that time.

“Looking to the future, the key [to success] is the elements of the Rally1 philosophy: first, hybrid and sustainable technology; second, improvement in safety. These are even more important now than when we started with these rules two years ago.”

Read Also:

Towards the end of last year, the FIA invited parties interested in “supplying sustainable energy” for the WRC service park from 2022 to 2024 to submit a bid for the contract.

Branding of plug-in hybrid charging stations, and ensuring the generation and supply of energy for Rally1 cars and teams, were two of three areas that businesses could argue their case for.

shares
comments

Related video

UK "definitely has its place" on future WRC schedules - Matton

Previous article

UK "definitely has its place" on future WRC schedules - Matton

Next article

WRC to tackle six asphalt surfaces at "unique" Rally Croatia

WRC to tackle six asphalt surfaces at "unique" Rally Croatia
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author Jason Craig
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021