The FIA has announced that the World Rally Championship will adopt petrol-electric hybrid rally cars from the 2022 season.
The new vehicles will all share a common hybrid unit but teams are expected to be granted more technical freedom in 2025. Additionally, the regulations state that the rally cars will be able to run on pure electric power during transit stages through cities while the hybrid powertrain will provide an electric power boost on special stages.
A host of other new regulations will soon come into effect in WRC. For example, tire development will be frozen from 2021 through 2024 in a bid to reduce costs and prevent a tire war among manufacturers.
Additionally, 2022 rules will require competitors to use either a production car bodyshell or compete in vehicles with a tubular spaceframe chassis with a shell on top that features carryover parts from the standard road car it is based around.
“There will also be an option for ‘scaling’ of the body within prescribed limits, to allow larger cars to comply with dimension targets,” the FIA added.
It’s not a surprise to hear that the World Rally Championship will go hybrid, particularly since Formula One has been using hybrid powertrains since the 2014 season. Earlier this year, Citroen said it was unlikely to stay in WRC beyond 2020 if the sport’s rule markers didn’t introduce some form of electrification into the competitive racing series.