The World Rally Championship will move to a new generation of car design in 2022, one that will require a supplementary hybrid system.
The announcement was made by the FIA on Friday following the most recent meeting of the organization’s World Motor Sport Council.
The hybrid system needs to be powerful enough to allow the cars to run on electric power only when racing in urban areas, and then serve as an aid to an internal-combustion engine in other types of stages.
To create an even playing field, the system will feature components and software common to all teams for the first three years, with a view to providing greater freedoms to teams after the 2024 season.
Subcompact cars like those represented in WRC have avoided hybrid technology that has traditionally featured on bigger, more expensive models, where the technology makes more sense from an efficiency standpoint. However, as electrification continues to expand across all segments, it makes sense to also include the technology in WRC.
Concurrent with the WRC announcement, the FIA announced a revised roadmap for electrification of the World Rallycross Championship, starting in 2021. Under the revised plans, both pure electric cars and cars with internal-combustion engines will be allowed initially before a complete switch to electric power in future seasons. Teams will be able to retrofit current World RX cars with an electric conversion kit for the 2021 season.