EV mode and hydrogen-powered cars are not an option for WRC from 2026

The FIA's road sport director, Andrew Wheatley, says that WRC Promoter does not think of running full-electric and hydrogen-powered cars in the future.

WRC entered to a new era in 2022 as the cars became hybrid for a first time and the combination of ICE with the hybrid unit created the most powerful cars in history. The total output is at 500 horsepower thanks to the 1.6-litre internal combustion engine and the 100-kW hybrid unit. All WRC teams get their hybrid kits from Compact Dynamics which has signed a contract with the WRC Promoter until the end of 2024, but it is expected that both parties will extend their cooperation after this deadline. From 2025 onwards, FIA and WRC Promoter are thinking of running an evolution of the current Rally1 regulations, but so far nothing has been confirmed. The next World Motor Council will be held on October 19 in which FIA will take some serious decisions about the WRC future as it is already speculated that the format of a WRC event may be changed.

"After 2026 is the next discussion and hybrid is a key part of that", Wheatley said. 

"The discussion for 2027 is how much engine versus how much hybrid power.

"There is not a discussion of no hybrid, it is a discussion of how do we make it work. 

"Does the amount of ICE use come down 10% or 20%, or does the hybrid go up 30% or 50%? 

"I don’t think it will be 50-50.

"There has to be an element of electrification at the top class and that will be the bit that differentiates it from Rally2.

"From the perspective of the manufacturers, an element of electrification is not a key element but part of the mix.

"We have done some thorough investigations about full electric in the current format of WRC, and it is very difficult, but the situation is changing and evolving.

"Hydrogen will be very unlikely. 

"I wouldn’t rule it out but particularly with hydrogen, on the technical side we can run a hydrogen-powered Toyota Yaris now.

"I would never say never with hydrogen because we could run hydrogen in the cars today. 

"It wouldn’t be impossible, but what would be difficult is the size of the tank and the logistics of how we manage the safety and all of those elements in the current form of rallying".

Finally, the WRC senior director, Peter Thul, said: "At the moment we have discussions about the future regulations which is absolutely important and everyone in the championship agrees it has to be a mixture of sustainable fuel and hybrid.

"We believe this is the only way to keep rallying as it is. 

"Going full electric with the technology available there is no option.

"We still believe rallying should have an ICE component and sustainable fuel".

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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