Thursday | 26 Mar 2020

What’s behind the WRC’s new 2022 regulations?

Earlier this month, the FIA World Motor Sport Council gave the green light to technical rules for the WRC’s exciting new environmentally-friendly rally cars which will be introduced in 2022. Here we examine what we can look forward to in the new-era.

The next generation of Rally1 cars – formerly known as World Rally Cars – will continue the current spectacle but with a strong focus on cost management and sustainability, while making the sport’s pinnacle more accessible to incoming manufacturers.

New-for-2022 Rally1 cars, the first to incorporate hybrid technology in the WRC, will continue to bear a close resemblance to the road cars from which they were born, while incorporating significant regulation change.

When the FIA ratified the latest rules, the first big changes since the current cars were introduced in 2017, a key message was that cars will continue to look and sound assertive.

It confirmed the cars will retain their aggressive and aerodynamic styling, albeit with no aero effect from hidden ducts and changes to the devices at the rear of the car.

The cars will remain four-wheel drive, but with a more simplified transmission system running five gears and without an active-style centre differential. A maximum of six transmission units per car per year will be permitted.

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The suspension will also be less complex and feature shorter wheel travel and more straightforward dampers, hubs, hub carriers and anti-roll bars.

Liquid cooling of brakes will no longer be allowed and the car’s fuel tank will be simplified in shape in a more economic solution.

“The accessible nature of the Rally1 regulations will quickly allow manufacturers to fight for victories, while the performance parity will help to deliver strong competition between the world’s best drivers,” said the FIA.

“These (new regulations) are the result of months of rigorous analysis and investigation by the FIA’s team of expert personnel in close collaboration with the WRC manufacturers, with every design cost required to demonstrate a tangible benefit, without losing the ethos of maintaining top-line performance.”

Further detail on engine regulations, hybrid technology specification and implementation following the current tender processes for the 2022-spec cars will be discussed at the WRC Commission meeting in May, ahead of potential sign-off at June’s WMSC in Thailand.

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