FIA makes a complete U-turn! Hybrid cars remain in the World Rally Championship

The International Automobile Federation FIA has made a U-turn regarding the rule changes for the WRC.
Hybrid units will remain in Rally1 cars until the end of the 2026 season. Photo: Austral/Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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Earlier this year, the FIA and the WRC promoter announced a significant rule package intended to overhaul the rally’s top category. Among other things, hybrid units were to be completely removed, and the cars’ aerodynamics and power were to be reduced.

However, at the World Motor Sport Council meeting on Tuesday in Uzbekistan, it was decided that hybrid units would not be abandoned. As a result, the Rally1 hybrid cars will continue in the main WRC category until 2026, when the current homologation period ends.

All current WRC teams opposed making significant changes to the cars for just two years. Following the decision, all parties can now work on building the best possible rules for the new homologation period, which will start at the beginning of 2027. The aim is, of course, to attract more car manufacturers to the WRC in addition to the current three teams.

“Technical stability has been agreed between all stakeholders for the 2025 and 2026 FIA World Rally Championship seasons. The World Council has confirmed that, following extensive feedback and discussions, the WRC Technical Regulations for Rally1/2 cars will remain unchanged for the coming two years,” the FIA’s statement said.

FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem also emphasised that the undoubtedly tough negotiations between the various parties over the past few months influenced the decision to cancel the technical reforms.

“The WRC is hugely important to the FIA, it is the pinnacle of the rally discipline and I have had a lot of conversations with the manufacturers over the past weeks about its future direction. It is clear now that we all need to have technical stability for the next two years, but at the same time it is important for the FIA that, in providing this stability, we receive the same positive commitment from the manufacturers,” Bin Sulayem commented.

WRC Promoter Managing Director Jona Siebel echoed these sentiments.

“As the WRC promoter this is a hugely important moment for us, as we can move forward with unity and consistency over the next two years from a technical perspective while we are investing heavily in new and exciting ways to grow the fan base of the sport and deliver for our fans,” Siebel emphasised.

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