Hybrid ditched as part of major WRC regulation change

The World Motor Sport Council Meeting has delivered changes to Rally1 and Rally2 categories in time for next year's WRC

Rally1 spectacular

Hybrid will be ditched from the World Rally Championship’s premium category from the end of this season – the move comes as part of a raft of proposed technical regulation changes emerging from Wednesday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

The FIA’s WRC Working Group delivered its roadmap for the WRC’s future, which included detail on promotion, sporting and technical objectves. New regulations will be drafted by the WRC Commission and delivered to the June meeting of the World Motor Sport Council for ratification.

The overhaul to Rally1 cars – which also includes a reduction in power through a smaller turbo restrictor and more limited aerodynamics – comes alongside the delivery of Rally2+ cars. Current level Rally2 cars can be fitted with a WRC kit comprising a bigger restrictor, optional paddle shift, more aero and a bigger exhaust.

These changes, to be implemented in time for 2025 with the aim of narrowing the gap between the top two tiers, will make the current hybrid-powered Rally1 cars defunct at the end of their third year at the top of the World Rally Championship.

Compact Dynamics

Compact Dynamics has supplied Rally1 cars with hybrid from the start of the 2022 season. That changes at the end of this year

In addition to the changes for 2025, the Working Group proposes significantly revised regulations for 2026. Based on the Rally1 concept, the new cars will utilise a common safety cell, allowing manufacturers or tuners to develop rally cars using their own bodywork from B-class, C-class, Compact SUV or a Concept Car – performance will be equalized via center of gravity and aerodynamics.

The power for the 2026 cars will be capped at 330bhp and controlled by a reference torque curve. The cars will be cost capped at €400,000 (US$433,000) with engine and transmission technology coming from Rally2 cars to help in that direction.

The final technical directive is centered on the implementation of an electric category as soon as possible. The FIA’s technical department has been charged with establishing suitable rules which would retain the Rally1 safety cell and achieve performance parity with sustainably fuelled Rally1 cars.

The Working Group has also put forward a WRC Promotion Team established within the FIA to work in close collaboration with all the series stakeholders in an effort to leverage further promotional opportunities around the series.

Oliver Solberg

Rally2 cars will be eligible for a kit of parts offering modifications to aerodynamics, the exhaust and, crucially, the engine to give more power

In terms of sporting changes, the roadmap offers greater freedom to individual events when deciding their itineraries – we’ve already seen evidence of this with Rally Italy’s 48-hour format from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

While events will be allowed to decide when their rallies start, they still have to finish with the Sunday afternoon powerstage.

Although next year’s calendar will include sprint-style events as well as longer endurance-based rallies, the overall mileage will remain the same across the spread of the season.

In a further effort to cut the costs involved with competing, manufacturers will be limited to the number of personnel allowed to work in a three-car team and the service park will follow a new model with locally sourced structures being used for the manufacturers’ base. As well as saving money, this is intended to reduce transportation and logistical requirements while also making the service park more flexible – allowing for a potential change of location during an event. Remote services are also expected to return in 2025, with further detail coming from WRC Commssion in June.


The service park has been a central hub for WRC rounds for the last two decades. Finland's has always been one of the most popular

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who established the Working Group in December, said: “The WMSC members carefully considered the recommendations of the WRC Working Group and were united in their support of the series of objectives that have been established.

“To be at the point where the WRC Commission can now work on finalising proposals that will go a long way towards cementing the WRC’s future course, once approved by the WMSC, is a significant moment for the championship, its stakeholders and the rallying community in general. It’s also important to note that the results of the WRC Fan Engagement Survey will be carefully considered by the WRC Commission during the process of drafting the final proposals. I thank all those who took part as we continue the process of delivering a WRC that’s relevant for the present and fit for the future.”