Matton questions lack of Poland test
Citroen boss says he may have underestimated its importance
A striking aggressive look via a new aerodynamic package which includes a bigger rear wing, and engine power raised to 380bhp thanks to an increase in turbo restrictor size to 36mm are the headline changes.
Cars will be bigger due to a 55mm increase in the permitted width and a greater overhang at the front and rear, electronically-controlled centre differentials will return and they will be 25kg lighter.
The changes will be the biggest since the current technical rules were introduced in 2011, but FIA chiefs stress they are evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
“There were three main objectives with these regulations: make the car spectacular, be mindful of costs, and maintain, if not increase safety. The cars will be striking, there is no doubt about that, and there are small but always significant improvements in relation to safety,” said FIA technical director Bernard Niclot.
Reigning world champion Sébastien Ogier was delighted with the new proposals.
“As a racing driver you are always looking for more performance. I think the larger wing and new aerodynamics will give the car a bit more downforce, more grip and more speed going into the corners.
“This is also good for the show, because the extra power will definitely make the driving more spectacular for the fans. And it will also make the car look a bit more aggressive with a wider body,” he said.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said the new cars would look ‘distinct and dynamic’.
“An already exhilarating sport will become even more so in 2017 and fans have every right to be excited about the positive direction in which WRC is heading,” he said.