WRC likely to focus on hybrid power for 2027

Series introduced 100% sustainable fuels in 2022.

The World Rally Championship (WRC) is likely to focus on hybrid power for its 2027 regulations.

Confirmed:

  • Current WRC regulations are set to stay in place until 2026, pending an official agreement with hybrid unit supplier Compact Dynamics
  • International Automobile Federation (FIA) wants WRC to align with automotive market, with electric, hydrogen and synthetic fuels all under consideration

Context:

WRC introduced hybrid power in 2022, the same time the series agreed a three-year deal with P1 Racing Fuels for the supply of 100 per cent sustainable fuels.

Comment:

Andrew Whateley, road sport director of the FIA, told Motorsport.com: “After [2026] is the next discussion and hybrid is a key part of that. 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 per cent or 20 per cent, or does the hybrid go up 30 per cent or 50 per cent? I don’t think it will be 50-50.”

“[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.”

Coming next:

Plans around the future of the series are focused on attracting new manufacturers. With only two full works entries, and Ford represented through its partnership with M-Sport, WRC is in desperate need of greater representation. FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem revealed at the Acropis Rally that Subaru is considering a return to the championship, with 2027 earmarked as the earliest opportunity, according to Autosport.

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