Rally1 cars will feature a sound module from Rally Portugal onwards in a bid to make them louder in electric-mode at speeds lower than 30km/h (18.6mph).
The World Rally Championship first incorporated hybrid technology at the beginning of the 2022 season with the introduction of the Rally1 regulations.
A 100kW electric unit, supplied by external partner Compact Dynamics, was mated to an internal combustion engine to create rally cars that produce upwards of 500bhp when hybrid is active.
But another key element of the hybrid switch was the ability for cars to travel in EV-mode only.
Each round of the WRC now includes HEV [hybrid electric vehicle] zones which Rally1 cars must pass through without the ICE activated. The service park is always one of these areas.
However, the FIA has updated the Rally1 technical regulations this week, mandating that each car from Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford must now include a sound module from May 1 onwards.
That means Rally Portugal (May 11-14) will be the first event where the new regulations will apply.
The sound module must produce a minimum of 80dB of sound in an open area at 2m from the front and from the rear of the vehicle, 1m high from ground level.
It must be activated while running in EV-mode (including in reverse) until the vehicle’s speed exceeds 30km/h where it will shut off.
The change was discussed at Friday’s World Motor Sport Council and published in the regulations on Tuesday.
It’s currently unclear specifically why the FIA has mandated the addition of a sound module, but the reason is likely to be related to safety.