WATCH | WRC's 'Three Musketeers' ready to lead rally racing into a high-voltage future

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  • Hyundai, Toyota and Ford (M-Sport) will field new hybrid-electric rally vehicles in this year's World Rally Championship.
  • The battery pack/electric motor combo adds 100kW of power to the vehicles' turbocharged internal combustion engines.
  • These Rally1 vehicles will also use sustainably-produced synthetic fuel instead of traditional fuel.
  • For motoring news, go to Wheels24

The World Rally Championship's (WRC) hero teams gathered in Salzburg at the weekend to unveil three special vehicles that will lead the sport's charge into the future, quite literally. The official WRC teams presented hybrid-electric Hyundai, Toyota and Ford vehicles for the 2022 season that fires up on 20 January at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) president Mohammed Bin Sulayem, together with Toyota Gazoo Racing, Hyundai Motorsport and M-Sport Ford, revealed their sizzling new rally fighters, which will compete across 13 rounds on four continents.

Toyota's 2021 championship runner-up Elfyn Evans and teammate Kalle Rovanperä, the youngest WRC rally winner in history last season, was in attendance. Also present were Hyundai's lead drivers Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak. New M-Sport Ford signing Craig Breen also appeared alongside Adrien Fourmaux.

In the championship's 50th season, the WRC will undergo significant environmental changes as new FIA technical regulations drive the series towards a more sustainable future. Plug-in hybrid-powered cars built around an upgraded safety cell chassis, 100% fossil-free fuel and sustainable energy supplies are critical to the sport's commitment to a greener future.

WRC Toyota Yaris Rally1
WRC Toyota Yaris Rally1
Hyundai i20 Rally1
Hyundai i20 Rally1
Ford Puma Rally1
Ford Puma Rally1

Sustainability is essential for the sport's future.

The three new hybrid cars blend a 100kW electric motor with a competition-proven 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which has powered the sport's top-tier vehicles since 2011. The package raises peak performance levels to more than 373kW and reduces harmful emissions.

FIA President Bin Sulayem, a former WRC competitor himself, said: "Today's launch of the new Rally1 era is a very proud and significant moment for the FIA, the entire rally family and I would like to congratulate the WRC Promoter for delivering a great show at the start of the championship's 50th anniversary season."

He explained that besides the hybrid technology adding a new dynamic layer of performance combined with safety improvements, the new Rally1 cars would be using 100% sustainable fuel. "Work is also ongoing to achieve greater sustainability in the organisation of each round of the series. I look forward to an exciting season," he added.

WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel welcomed the start of a 'landmark period' for the championship: "Here we've seen what the future of the WRC looks like. I applaud the manufacturers' hard work and commitment in readying these amazing and innovative Rally1 cars for the WRC's new era."

Do you enjoy the WRC? Which team or vehicle do you think has what it takes to win the headline Rally1 championship in 2022? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section or email us here.

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