The groundbreaking Hybrid Rally1 cars, which will line up at the Monte Carlo Rally this month (January 20-23), offer more power and more speed than ever before.
A fully lit factory car now delivers 520 horsepower and the ability to get from A to B at breathtaking speed. The increase in output takes place via a plug-in hybrid system that generates 100 kW of power to accompany an unchanged 1600 cmÂ³ turbo engine.
And this power will be felt right from the start. When the season starts with the speed test in LucÃ©ram / Lantosque, the effect of the hybrid will be felt immediately, as the new machinery redefines what acceleration of rally cars really means – Rally1 cars all roll off the assembly line at full power.
As always, Monte will be one of the highlights of the season. But it’s not just the beginning of a new era that keeps fans busy. It is the return of two Frenchmen who together claim 17 world championship titles. It’s SÃ©bastien versus SÃ©bastien. Ogier versus Loeb. Eight times around nine.
Ogier will remain with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, for which he has won the last two of his eight titles, while Loeb will switch to M-Sport Ford and a Puma Rally1 for the first time. Neither of them will play in the battle for the absolute title, but cameos from this couple are always welcome.
Loeb’s M-Sport Ford team-mate Craig Breen is the biggest climber of the year. The Irishman completed his move from Hyundai Motorsport last fall to lead the team on the greatest opportunity (and the first full WRC program) of his career.
The WRC’s move towards a more sustainable future includes not only a fascinating new hybrid system, but also an entirely new fuel made from a mixture of synthetic and biologically derived components.
For the first time in history, competition in the top tier of the WRC is 100% sustainable.
Beyond groundbreaking science, there are some returning giants when it comes to roads and rallies. New Zealand and Japan are two of the most exhilarating travel destinations, with the breathtaking mix of highly arched stretches of the Tasman coast on the North Island making the land of the long white cloud something to look forward to in September.
The season end visit to Japan offers a fascinating finale on tarmac in front of some of the world’s most passionate and dedicated fans.
There are also changes in the rallies. Round one means a full-time return to a base in Monaco, while the second round of Rally Sweden offers a shift north onto the snow-sure roads of UmeÃ¥.
But let’s face it, it’s the cars that are drawing attention this year. Complete with the battery-cooled vanes and air intakes, plus plenty of aerodynamics to attach them to the road, Rally1 cars will look as dramatic as anything that adorned the stages before.
Welcome to the year 2022!