The world’s most prestigious rally championship began its 50th season in 2022 with a completely overhauled technical framework for its leading Rally1 category.
Based on the forecast that hybrid cars will make up a third of global car sales by 2030, the WRC chose this advanced technology for its new three-year rules cycle. It means the WRC reduces carbon emissions in alignment with the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.
The new Rally1 cars are powered by a combination of a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivering 380hp and an electric unit delivering an extra 100kW. Thus they can motor with clean electric power only.
This gives organisers the tools to significantly reduce emissions, for example, inside the service park or in urban areas the rally cars pass through en route to competitive sections.
The 3.9kWh battery pack can be charged externally when the Rally1 car is stationary in the team’s service area or on the move through recuperation while braking or coasting.
The hybrid system, including the electric unit, battery pack, inverter and control system, is stored in a ballistic-strength carbon fibre housing mounted behind the seats of the rally car. The case is strong enough to resist forces and impacts of up to 70G in the event of an accident.