WRC cars to go hybrid from 2022: Hyundai, M-Sport Ford and Toyota commit for three years!
For the first time since the sport's inception, WRC cars will house a hybrid drivetrain for forward propulsion. Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford, the three participating manufacturers have agreed to include a common hybrid system in their top tier cars for three years, starting from 2022. The hybrid tech will enable cars to run on pure electric power in cities and provide an electric power boost in special stages.
Development costs for the hybrid technology will be divided equally between the teams and the FIA. It will be provided by German company Compact Dynamics, who have a rich heritage in supplying electrical solutions to Formula 1, endurance racing and the Formula E. Compact Dynamics will supply the e-motor, power electronics and the drive system. The battery will power an electric motor that will deliver around 100 kW power (approximately 130bhp).
An extra 130bhp over the IC engine's 380bhp means total power output will reach 500bhp, that means an even stronger acceleration, and higher speeds due to the availability of instant torque. Lessons have been learned from the infamous Group B cars, and despite the jump in power, the FIA will regulate how this power can be used. The teams will have control over battery boost deployment and benefit from it on particular parts of a stage, that will likely be predefined by the organisers. This is to make sure the competition remains equal and more importantly, safe.
Team Hyundai Motorsport have confirmed that their challenger will be based on the i20 N road car. Toyota and M-Sport Ford have committed to the new rules, but haven’t confirmed which cars they will be using for their WRC challenge.
“This is the future for the WRC,” said FIA rally director Yves Matton. “It’s exciting to be working towards this next generation.” While WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel adds, “This is rallying with a purpose – providing a perfect R&D platform for the automotive industry to communicate its new technology."
The hybrid announcement wasn't the only new change that will come to be from 2022. WRC has confirmed plans to use sustainable fuels and sustainable energy generation, and introduce a standardised safety structure in a bid to improve safety standards.
The sustainable energy generation supply will cover the needs of the plug-in charging elements of the race cars and public vehicles in service parks to furthermore add to this green initiative.