All three World Rally Championship manufacturers have committed to the series’ hybrid future, agreeing to participate in the sport until 2024.
Hyundai, Toyota, and M-Sport Ford will race the first three years of WRC’s Rally1 concept, which sees cars powered by both an electric motor and combustion engine.
Rally1 signals the start of WRC’s embrace of a future based on alternative energy resources.
The agreement confirms Hyundai’s commitment to the championship, which was understood to be a top priority of the WRC.
Hyundai has also announced their 2022 challenger will be derived from the i20 N road car.
Toyota and M-Sport Ford are yet to decide what model they will use for next year’s championship.
The three teams will work collectively with the FIA on developing the hybrid system. Associated costs will be equally distributed between all four parties.
The news means that the short-term future of WRC is largely set in stone, with Rally1 now one step closer to fruition.
“The FIA World Rally Championship is on the brink of reaching an important milestone with the new-generation cars, Rally1,” FIA President Jean Todt said.
“A switch to plug-in hybrid power reflects the latest trends in the automotive industry, at the same time making the sport more sustainable.
“The fact that all three of the brands currently involved in the championship committed for a further three years proves that world rallying is heading in the right direction. And this comes together with the transition to sustainable energy, which is one of the main objectives of the FIA and its Purpose Driven movement.”
“It’s no exaggeration to say the introduction of sustainable hybrid technology for the WRC’s headline category marks one of the biggest milestones in the sport’s history,” said WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel.
“It’s fitting such a major progression will be welcomed in the championship’s 50th anniversary season.
“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.”