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Official render: meet the WRC car of the future

Wilder, more powerful and with more wing: FIA announces new regs for rally championship

More power. Bigger. Wider. More wing. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the WRC car of the not-too-distant future.

At a meeting of the World Motor Sport council in Mexico City last week, the FIA approved new ‘principles’ for the uppermost rally division, many aimed at giving the WRC cars a bit of added ‘grrrr’.

And to provide a visual aid, the FIA very kindly cooked up the render above to showcase just how excellent the new cars could, in theory, look. Not bad, right?

The new regulations will offer teams greater aero freedom around the whole body: the front bumper overhang can be increased by up to 60mm, with more aero ahead of the front wheels, while the rear can be increased by 30mm.

The door sills will be bigger. The cars will be 25kg lighter. The rear diffuser will be bound by some size limits, but can stick out up to 50mm at the back. And the best bit? The rear wing will “be dramatically increased in size” over the current crop of WRC cars. Yes.

The racers will use the same 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines as current regulations require, which, thanks to an increase in the turbo restrictor width from 33mm to 36mm, should see power rise to around 380bhp – “up to the level of the WTCC cars”.

Double WRC winner Sebastien Ogier said: “I think the larger wing and new aerodynamics will give the car a bit more downforce, more grip and more speed going into the corners. This is good for the show, because the extra power will definitely make the driving more spectacular for the fans.”

While Citroen Racing stated they remained still unsure whether they’d be participating in 2017, the French team did say “the cars will look absolutely amazing”. Ditto for Hyundai, who promised the cars will “be more powerful and look more aggressive”.

And don’t forget, Toyota has also thrown its hat into the ring, targeting a return to the WRC in 2017 with Gazoo Racing, led by Tommi Makinen.

Hands up who’s excited?

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