WRC hybrid: a new era begins!
We have waited for a long time, now they are ready to pounce on the roads of Rally Monte-Carlo. The 2022 edition, from January 20 to 23, will be historic in more than one way: a new generation of rally cars, the brand new hybrid WRC1s, using exclusively synthetic or ecological fuels, will allow the World Rally Championship (WRC) to show a good example of what is possible today, thanks to the investments of major manufacturers … and the talent of engineers. The presentation ceremony of the three Official WRC Tams took place on this Saturday evening. The Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, Hyundai i20 N Rally 1 and the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1 were unveiled.
Three years of commitment by Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford
The three manufacturers and teams officially entered in WRC have signed a three-year commitment to develop and enter hybrid cars, which is a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the World Rally Championship in 1973 at the he glorious time of Alpine-Renault and Lancia, among other legendary manufacturers.
Testing of the new cars continued in December, in northern Europe and southern France, and drivers were very favorably impressed with the new machines, for which the development costs of all the new technologies put in place were shared equally between the manufacturers and the FIA, with three obvious priorities: safety, cost management and sustainability.
Announced in 2019, the introduction of hybrid technology, at the highest level of world rallying, has resulted in the final green light given by the World Council of the FIA, the supreme authority in motorsport. And it is therefore in the most prestigious rally on the calendar, the “Monte-Carlo”, that this new era will begin.
“A milestone in the sport’s history” for the 50th anniversary season
The introduction of sustainable hybrid technology for the WRC’s headline category marks one of the biggest milestones in the sport’s history. It’s fitting such a major progression will be welcomed in the championship’s 50th anniversary season. Along with the FIA, the manufacturers and Promoter, WRC is fully committed to the introduction of greener cars. The hybrid powertrain forms an integral part of the automotive industry as the world moves towards a more sustainable future, and it’s essential the WRC is aligned with this evolution. This is rallying with a purpose – providing a perfect R&D platform for the automotive industry to communicate its new technology. WRC remains motorsport’s toughest championship for productionbased cars and the leadership from these teams sends a positive message about its future to other manufacturers considering joining the series.
The hybrid announcement followed confirmation of the WRC’s plans for more sustainable fuel for competing cars and greener energy sources in the service park. Sustainable fuel (synthetic or biofuel) will be provided to competitors across the different championship classes, and plug-in hybrid charging stations will be available in service parks, with sustainable energy covering the needs for World Rally Cars and general service park power requirements.
A 3.9 kWh battery for 100 kW of power (180 Nm)
Each new car in the WRC1 category is equipped with a hybrid unit and a 3.9 kWh battery able to produce 100 kW (136 hp) of supplementary power, for a torque of 180 Nm. It is installed at the rear of the car, next to the rear axle, and protected by an ultra-resistant carbon envelope. It can be used to provide additional power during a special stage or to drive quietly, while respecting the speed limits, on normal roads between the stages.
Spectators will have to wait for the green light to help the drivers !
In the event of a car crash, and if spectators want to help the crew to put the car back on the road, they will have to wait for a green light to appear at the top of the windshield. If this light is red, or off, they should not approach, because it will mean that the car is dangerous and that they risk being electrocuted by handling it. This instruction will be reminded to all spectators throughout the rally!