A sustainable new generation

Ahead of the WRC’s 50th season, eco-friendly technologies are now taking their place, as they are in more and more areas of motor sport – a natural progression as auto manufacturers see taking part in the Championship as an important part of their development work. It’s a great opportunity to test vehicles with newly adopted hybrid technology, as well as battery safety and operation, under extreme conditions. This will certainly promote sustainable energy provision, which as we know is key to a greener future in the sport and in auto production generally.

The top teams’ new hybrid cars are designated Rally1, and all of them have a 100 kW electric motor to complement the 380 hp, 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, which in turn runs on 100% fossil-free fuel. The electric motor enhances performance, by up to 130 hp when in use. That means over 500 hp in total, while also reducing harmful emissions. But the electric motor cannot be used the whole time: the driver has to make conscious, active decisions to ration the power and use it correctly.

Cars 2022

Batteries and reinforcements in the safety frames also make the cars slightly heavier. Coupled with other new rules for aerodynamics, suspension and so on, the drivers have some major changes to contend with. This will make it particularly exciting to see who can best handle the transition.

Some of the changes, apart from hybrid technology, compared to last year’s cars:

  • Aerodynamic opportunities have been reduced as only limited deviations from standard car appearance are now allowed.
  • The steel cage that protects the driver and co-driver has been extended and reinforced.
  • The gear paddles mounted on the steering wheel have been removed, returning to a manual, five-speed sequential gearbox.
  • Active differentials are no longer permitted. This year the regulations have gone back to four-wheel drive with mechanical differentials, which will demand more of the drivers in many situations.

Rally2 & Rally3

Rally2 and Rally3 use R5-spec cars that are closer to the corresponding standard cars. A lot is similar to the WRC cars as regards safety and interior. The class does however have a few limitations on power and aerodynamics, primarily to keep costs down and enable more people to participate, both in the Rally2 manufacturer teams and the Rally3 privately entered cars. Below are some of the features in more detail.

Specifications

  • 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine with turbocharger, 32 mm valves and direct injection.
  • Power is regulated to about 285 hp.
  • Engine block based on same specifications as in the standard cars. Otherwise, the engine can be modified in line with the regulations.
  • Five-speed sequential gearbox.
  • Permanent four-wheel drive with mechanical locking differentials.
  • 18-inch wheels for asphalt and snow. 15-inch for gravel and ice.
  • The minimum weight for a rally-ready car is 1,230 kg.

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