The World Rally Championship has had two things in decline for a while now: the number of people not named Sebastien able to win a title in the past 17 years (one) and its manufacturer pool, down to three. As it introduces a radical change in regulations first announced in 2019 to move towards hybrid technology at the highest level of rallying, the rules were solidified before M-Sport Ford, Toyota and Hyundai had technically agreed on a way to work with them—the kind of bump in the road that might faze even superhuman rally automaton Ogier.
A year ago, the FIA announced Compact Dynamics as its supplier for hybrid elements in the new-for-2022 Rally1 class. Replacing WRC1 as the highest class of the championship—and the only one eligible for WRC teams’ and drivers’ points—Rally1 has some shared architecture. This includes an internal roll cage as well as the 3.9-kilowatt-hour battery and 100kW motor-generator unit that will be supplied for all cars to keep costs down with the automakers then building their own engine and chassis architecture.
It might come as a surprise, given how far along the plans were—and the relative proximity of 2022, in motorsport development terms—that the three remaining automakers hadn’t really agreed how that was going to work yet. Fortunately, they have now. Under a “new deal” contract, they will essentially work together on developing technology for the cars, including committing funds to a mutual research pool. For the full story, check out this article from The Drive.