As the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is about to start at Monte-Carlo this Thursday, the highest class is going hybrid. The new rules and specifications of the all-new hybrid powertrains have been laid out. Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford cars will benefit from a ‘hybrid boost’ during the stages, and some connecting roads between time stages will have to be covered in full electric mode.
The new-for-2022 regulation states that the cars will take advantage of a 100 kW (136 hp) electric motor powered by a 3,6 kWh battery, which recuperates energy from braking or coasting. Moreover, the WRC will use ‘sustainable fuel’ made from synthetic sources and biomass for this season.
New rules, new powertrains
For 2022, the Rally 1 cars or Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford will be equipped with an all-new hybrid powertrain. The electric motor will be used to give a ‘hybrid boost’, of which the power is limited depending on the timed stages length and road surface. The new WRC cars benefit from over 500 hp by coupling both motors.
At the start of the times stages, drivers will get a 1 000 KJ launch boost, which will stop as soon as the driver depresses the accelerator or hits the brakes. After that, the above-mentioned rule-limited hybrid boost will be available. This could be seen as Formula 1’s KERS system.
In the new 2022 rule book, racing teams will be limited to two engines per season, compared to three last year. Nine units will be permitted per season per car for the hybrid components. Only one hybrid unit and one spare unit may be used in each rally.
Not only are the WRC Rally 1 cars going hybrid for additional power, but the FIA has also stated in its 2022 rule book that some predefined connecting roads between time stages will have to be covered in full electric mode.
With only 3,6 kWh of battery capacity, let’s hope these stretches of road aren’t too long. Furthermore, this season the WRC will use ‘sustainable fuel’ made from synthetic components and biomass.