FIA “75%” of the way there with next WRC regulations

The spaceframe chassis is likely to remain, it's just propulsion that's to be decided for 2025


The next set of World Rally Championship regulations remain “an open point”, but the FIA says 75% of it is decided.

The current Rally1 regulations came into force at the beginning of 2022, replacing the old World Rally Cars with the introduction of hybrid power and a tubular, spaceframe common chassis.

It was signed off as a three-year regulation cycle, meaning a new ruleset will come into force for 2025.

The FIA has set itself a target of the end of 2023 to have the 2025 regulations signed off, but FIA deputy president sport Robert Reid confirmed to a select group of media, including DirtFish, that discussions with current and potential manufacturers are already “ongoing”.


But any changes are likely to revolve purely around the powertrain.

“There could be an extension of current, a tweak to current, there could be a bigger change to current; that could be for one year, two years, three years, I think it’s all open,” said Reid.

“One of the problems we have at the moment is the OEMs don’t know what they want.

“But I think what we can say is one of the big successes of the Rally1 car has been the chassis.

“So we’ve got a city car, five-door hatchback and we’ve got a crossover all winning rallies. We’ve got manufacturers saying ‘if our model changes, that’s fine, we can quite easily change to a new model.’ So I think that’s a really big positive point.


“We wouldn’t… because of all the investment’s that’s gone in and the fact it’s working, I think it’s fair to say it would be impossible to imagine changing that, certainly within the timescale we’re talking about.

“So if you’ve got a manufacturer that wants to come and they know regardless of when they come, one of the major investment points is going to be consistent and still there, ie the chassis development, then it makes it easier.

“And what we’re talking about now is the powertrain of the hybrid unit or different fuels or how we have that.”

FIA rally manager Andrew Wheatley, who was sitting alongside Reid, added: “But we’re talking about 15, 20, 25%, not the 75%. 75% is quite consistent.

“The flexibility we have with the new chassis is fantastic. You basically can plug in whatever technology you want to plug, and that’s a very significant factor.”

Toyota tram principal Jari-Matti Latvala has publicly stated his support for hydrogen as the future propulsion for the WRC, given it marries environmentally-friendly technology with engine sound.

No decision has been made yet, but it seems likely that hybrid will remain a part of the next set of regulations.

Reid said: “It’s quite a narrow discussion actually when you look at it, because we’ve got hybrid unit at the moment, again it would be difficult, almost impossible I would say, to remove that hybrid until now you’ve got it.

“So you’re talking about percentages, and I think that’s a much narrower conversation.

“They’re not all of a sudden going to turn around and say ‘let’s go back to leaded pump fuel again’ or ‘let’s change the engine capacity to two liter’.”

Seven was a disaster, so there's a sweet spot I think in the middle, and three is in that sweet spot Robert Reid on manufacturers in the WRC

Asked if the 2025 regulations would be an adaptation of the current Rally1 ruleset, Reid said: “I think that’s exactly what will happen.”

That would mean no regression to a Rally2+ style formula that has often been talked about, despite the greater number of manufacturers currently involved in the second tier of the FIA’s rally pyramid.

“[If we did that] I think then we would tear up all of the development that the manufacturers have done on Rally1,” argued Reid.

“So I don’t think that it would be fair to allow a manufacturer to have come in, invested hugely into a new chassis platform with all the research and development – not just from the FIA’s side but the manufacturer as well – to then completely change overnight.”


Reid naturally wouldn’t be drawn on any manufacturers that may be interested in entering the WRC, but reiterated previously made comments that he doesn’t view three manufacturers as a problem.

“If you look back, the first world rally I did with a factory team was in 1993, at that point we had two manufacturers,” he said.

“We went to three, we had a period I think of seven, so we’ve had two to seven, and I would say two wasn’t great but we survived.

“Seven was a disaster, so there’s a sweet spot I think in the middle, and three is in that sweet spot, maybe slightly low, four would be nicer.

“As soon as you get to five, six I think it becomes quite difficult.”

Words:Luke Barry