80% of WRC Rally1 car to carry over for 2027 regulations

The FIA has spent the past two years developing the next set of WRC regulations in the wake of the Rally1 hybrid era, launched last year.

Rally1 regulations have given birth to all-new cars constructed around a more robust space frame chassis, producing 500 horsepower in short bursts from a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, coupled with a standard 100kW hybrid kit, all powered by 100% sustainable fuel.

While the full details of the 2027 technical regulations have not been confirmed, the FIA has released some details, revealing in September that the cars will be based on a hybrid powertrain, after exploring the possibility of transitioning to full electric and hydrogen power.

FIA road sport director Andrew Wheatley has indicated that although there will be changes in the 2027 regulations, the cars will retain 80% of the current Rally1 DNA.

Even with progress being made, a confirmed set of regulations is not expected until 2024 as one key element of the new rules is cost reduction, with current Rally1 cars being considered too expensive.

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

“We have an outline agreement as to what the future will look like, but as is always the case the devil is in the detail. 80% of the current Rally1 car will stay.

“I think we all know there are challenges with the speed of the cars, they are pretty quick and they are expensive and they are more expensive than we imagined.

“So those are two key elements of how we want to try and improve the second generation of Rally1.”

“The challenge is how we achieve those two targets. Obviously nobody wants to change anything but actually we all know we should and we need to change some details.”

“It will be a hybrid car but this is exactly the discussion on the detail because there are many ways to achieve a hybrid car. The development cycle will start at the beginning of 2025 and 2026 to launch in 2027. Manufacturers need two clear years, but we are talking about changes that are relatively small.

“We don’t want to release the proposal until we have consensus across the board and we are very close to getting that.”

Despite the challenges, Wheatley is enthused by the initial interest from manufacturers in the technical proposal currently being developed for the WRC.

A target of four manufacturers has been set as an ideal proposition for the WRC moving forward by the FIA. One marque known to be investigating the possibility of return to the WRC is Subaru which is understood to be considering a potential engine collaboration with Toyota.

“What I can say is that I’m very pleasantly surprised that there are manufacturers that are showing positive interest about the championship,” he added.

“Some of them are already engaged in the championship and some are new, and some have been involved in the past.”

Reference

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