Tuesday | 31 Mar 2020

Existing engines to stay in WRC hybrid switch

Current World Rally Car engines will be retained in next-generation cars when the FIA World Rally Championship enters its hybrid era in 2022.

The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has voted to keep the existing specification of base engine following long discussions between WRC bosses and manufacturers in preparation for the series’ switch to new environmentally-friendly cars.

Measures will be put in place to reduce the development, manufacturing and running costs of the engine. They include a simplified turbocharger, a reduction in the number of engines per year and many parts frozen in current specifications.

Talks on engine specification had focused around maintaining the current 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged units or switching to the similar, but less powerful, R5-based units used in Rally2 cars.

The FIA has also announced that Compact Dynamics will be the exclusive supplier of hybrid kits for the new cars, which will form the newly-named Rally1 category, for three seasons from 2022 to 2024.

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The FIA launched an invitation to tender in the middle of December last year and the German company currently supplies systems for Formula 1, the World Endurance Championship and Formula E.

FIA rally director Yves Matton said the new Rally1 category continued to gather momentum ahead of its 2022 launch.

“I am convinced Compact Dynamics will bring a wealth of experience to the programme. Additionally, the measures approved yesterday will enable us to achieve cost reduction in both development and annual maintenance costs, alongside a simplified process,” he added.