Along with yesterday’s Formula One tweaks, the World Motor Sport Council also approved new technical and homologation requirements for the 2017-2019 World Rally Championship Cars. What’s coming in 2017? More power, more insane bodywork, and bigger turbos. The future looks awesome.
“The intention behind the new regulations is to produce a car with a far more dynamic and distinct appearance that exhibits character and diversity,” reads the FIA press release. Cool—does this mean someone can finally bring the world’s looniest FrankenMirage? We can’t wait to see the new Yaris race, either. The more angry little peanuts hopping through the forests, the better.
The WRC powers-that-be stress that these changes are evolutionary, despite being the biggest change in the rules since the current rules package was introduced in 2011. FIA technical director Bernard Niclot explained in a WRC press release:
There were three main objectives with these regulations: make the car spectacular, be mindful of costs, and maintain, if not increase safety. The cars will be striking, there is no doubt about that, and there are small but always significant improvements in relation to safety.
It’s almost relieving to see big changes come out without a ton of fanfare about manufacturers being excluded or feeling priced out at this point, but it appears as though the WRC has pulled it off. They’re even gaining a manufacturer in the process: Toyota. We can’t wait for Toyota to be back where they belong, either.
Per the FIA, WRC cars’ power will be increased to 380 hp, the turbo restrictor can go up to 36 mm in diameter, and cars can run up to 2.5b (that’s 36.26 psi!) in turbo pressure. Furthermore, cars will weigh 55 lbs less. Power will be fed through an electronically controlled center differential. The result? Faster, loonier machines than the ones we already have.
The cars will look crazier, too, with bigger fixed rear wings and more freedom to go with big fender flares and more aero. A free zone around the production shell of the cars allows teams to create big fender flares out to a maximum 73 inch overall width, and bigger overhangs over front and rear if they so please, up to a maximum length of 153.5 inches. Furthermore, the World Motor Sport Council approved guidelines that would allow for aerodynamic devices ahead of the front wheels as well as allowed openings to be cut into the fender surface.
Sébastien Ogier told the WRC that he is happy about these bigger, lighter, more powerful cars.
As a racing driver you are always looking for more performance. I think the larger wing and new aerodynamics will give the car a bit more downforce, more grip and more speed going into the corners.
This is also good for the show, because the extra power will definitely make the driving more spectacular for the fans. And it will also make the car look a bit more aggressive with a wider body.
With at least one new manufacturer coming in 2017, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the WRC. Now can we please start adding giant fender flares on econoboxes to begin with? It’s what the world deserves.
Photo credit: WRC
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