Hyundai has started testing its new hybrid WRC car
The hybrid-powered i20N will compete in next season's World Rally Championship
You may remember way back in June 2019, the FIA announced that World Rally Championship cars were to use hybrid powertrains from the 2022 season onwards. Don’t worry too much if it’d slipped your mind, there have been Other Things™ to worry about since then.
But now that date edges ever closer, and Hyundai has revealed the first camouflaged images of its new i20N-based hybrid undergoing testing. The 2022 season will bring about a number of rule changes, with the cheaper and simpler cars being referred to as ‘Rally1’ machines.
The hybrid powertrain will pair the existing WRC 1.6-litre turbo engine with a battery pack and electric motor supplied to all teams by German company Compact Dynamics. The cars will be required to run on EV power alone whilst in service parks and in towns between stages, with an additional electric boost also available on special stages.
There will also be simpler suspension setups with less wheel travel, a simplified transmission and no active centre differentials. Liquid cooling of brakes will also be banned.
Hyundai says it will now ramp up testing of the i20N, using different venues across Europe to get an understanding of the new car on different terrains. The team also recently confirmed that its current drivers – Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville – had both signed ‘multi-year’ contract extensions.
Toyota and M-Sport have also confirmed their participation in the new era, with M-Sport once again running Ford Fiestas. Thoughts on the new regulations and powertrains, folks?
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