Finally, we have confirmation, the World Rally Championship will have three manufacturers in 2022. Hyundai, M-Sport Ford, and Toyota have committed to the series from 2022 to 2024 as the WRC enters its new hybrid era.
The introduction of hybrid technology along with chassis and transmission changes make next year’s Rally1 cars altogether different from the current World Rally Cars.
Hybrid has divided opinion but with Ford committing to its partnership with M-Sport and Hyundai retaining its WRC entry, the regulation changes have at least maintained three top-line manufacturer entries.
Another interesting change is FIA’s introduction of a three-year championship commitment for manufacturers rather than single-year agreements.
Here is what the key stakeholders had to say.
Jona Siebel, WRC Promoter:
“Along with the FIA and the manufacturers, WRC Promoter is fully committed to the introduction of greener cars. The hybrid powertrain forms an integral part of the automotive industry as the world moves towards a more sustainable future, and it’s essential the WRC is aligned with this evolution.
“This is rallying with a purpose – providing a perfect R&D platform for the automotive industry to communicate its new technology.
“WRC remains motorsport’s toughest championship for production-based cars and the leadership from these teams sends a positive message about its future to other manufacturers considering joining the series.”
Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport Ford:
“It’s always been important for our sport to move with the times, and this commitment to hybrid technology aligns the future of rallying with Ford’s global commitment towards a more sustainable future.
“As the toughest championship for production-based cars, the FIA World Rally Championship provides the perfect platform to test, develop and promote the latest road car technology – making this development integral to the relevance and continuation of our sport.
“It has also been integral to the continuation of our successful partnership with Ford and safeguards the immediate future of M-Sport in the FIA World Rally Championship.
“Over the past two decades we have delivered some fantastic performances and developed some of the championship’s most successful cars and drivers. Working closely with Ford Performance, it is our intention to continue that success in 2022 and progress on our latest challenger continues with testing both here in the UK and in America.
“There is still a long way to go, but we’re committed to delivering another rally winner as the world moves towards a more sustainable future.”
Andrea Adamo, Hyundai Motorsport:
“Hyundai Motorsport exists to support the global objectives set by Hyundai Motor Company, by offering a credible platform to showcase current and future automotive technology.
“Through racing and rallying, we are able to influence and give direction to the development of tomorrow’s Hyundai road cars; this is a real honour and a role we take incredibly seriously.
“We are therefore pleased to support the future direction outlined by the FIA and the WRC Promoter with the new hybrid regulations from 2022. We will develop our car around the Hyundai i20 N, which itself was inspired by our WRC success to date.
“As two-time champions, we welcome the new challenge and look forward to flying the Hyundai flag into this new era.”