The FIA has been developing the next set of WRC regulations over the last two years since the launch of the Rally1 hybrid era last year.
Rally1 regulations have spawned all-new cars, built around a tougher space frame chassis, that produce 500 horsepower in short bursts from a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, married to a control 100kW hybrid kit. The cars are powered by 100% sustainable fuel.
The full details of the 2027 technical regulations are yet to be confirmed although the FIA has released snippets of details. It revealed in September that the cars will be based around a hybrid powertrain, having investigated the possibility of moving to full electric and hydrogen power.
FIA road sport director Andrew Wheatley says there will be changes in the 2027 regulations but has told Motorsport.com that the cars will retain 80% of the current Rally1 DNA.
While progress is being made to formalise the WRC’s technical road map for the future, a confirmed set of regulations is not expected to be announced until 2024.
One aspect that is key to the new rules is cost reduction with the FIA openly admitting that the current Rally1 cars are too expensive.
“We have a very good collaboration between the stakeholders on the future of the technical regulations,” said Wheatley.
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Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1
“We have an outline agreement as to what the future will look like, but as is always the case the devil is in the detail. 80% of the current Rally1 car will stay.
“I think we all know there are challenges with the speed of the cars, they are pretty quick and they are expensive and they are more expensive than we imagined.
“So those are two key elements of how we want to try and improve the second generation of Rally1.
“The challenge is how we achieve those two targets. Obviously nobody wants to change anything but actually we all know we should and we need to change some details.
“It will be a hybrid car but this is exactly the discussion on the detail because there are many ways to achieve a hybrid car. The development cycle will start at the beginning of 2025 and 2026 to launch in 2027. Manufacturers need two clear years, but we are talking about changes that are relatively small.
“We don’t want to release the proposal until we have consensus across the board and we are very close to getting that.”
Wheatley is however encouraged by the initial interest…