Citroen to leave WRC unless rally cars go hybrid

Citroen says is will be forced to leave the World Rally Championship after 2020 unless electrification tech is introduced

Citroen C3 WRC - front

Citroen is unlikely to stay in the World Rally Championship beyond 2020 unless the sport’s rule makers introduce some form of electrification into the sport’s top category, the company boss has warned.

The French manufacturer has a long history in the WRC, including nine world championships with Sebastien Loeb, and it won the opening round of this year’s series after signing the reigning champion, Sebastien Ogier, for this year and 2020. 

Geneva Motor Show 2019: News

However, speaking to Auto Express at the Geneva Motor Show, Citroen boss Linda Jackson said the company would have to reconsider its participation in the sport if the current rules - based on 1.6-litre turbocharged cars and four-wheel drive - don’t evolve to include at least hybrid power.

When asked if the firm would reconsider its participation beyond the end of Ogier’s deal, if electrified cars aren’t introduced by then, Jackson told us, “I think the answer to that question is yes. Because everything is changing and I don’t see how as a manufacturer I can continue to support something that is without any reflection of what’s going on in society. If we’re talking 2021 or 2022, we’re working hard to comply with CO2 regulations on our road cars, and making sure our road cars have electrified versions.

I know there are discussions on what the WRC could become - hybrid, electric or a mix - and for me that’s very important. It is hard for me to consider something that doesn’t pay any attention to what’s going on in the wider society.”

“With the C3, I can make the link; I don’t have a sporty version of that to support the WRC campaign, true, but I can get awareness and impact, and that’s great. But the more you widen the gap between the types of cars in WRC and what’s going on in our range, with electrification, the more it’s simply a marketing tool. And then you’re using something not necessarily right with your brand.” 

Motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, is currently consulting on a move to electrified cars when the existing rules are set to expire - at the end of 2021. That timeframe could mean that as in 2016, Citroen might take at least a year out of the series before rejoining when hybrids or electric cars take over.

Would you like to see hybrid tech in WRC cars? Let us know in the comments...

Recommended

Geneva Motor Show 2021 cancelled
News

Geneva Motor Show 2021 cancelled

The 2021 Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled due to financial hardship and poor manufacturer response
30 Jun 2020
Geneva Motor Show
Geneva Motor Show

Geneva Motor Show

Welcome to our Geneva Motor Show hub page, scroll down for all our Geneva content...
28 Feb 2020
New 2021 Citroen flagship saloon spied with big SUV influence
Citroen C5 electric car spy shots
Citroen

New 2021 Citroen flagship saloon spied with big SUV influence

New range-topping Citroen to arrive with strong influence from 2016 Cxperience concept and new C4 hatchback
18 Jan 2021
Stellantis: FCA and Groupe PSA merger confirmed
Stellantis logo
Fiat

Stellantis: FCA and Groupe PSA merger confirmed

Official: merger between two car giants becomes effective as of 16 January 2021 
16 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Electric Nissan e-NV200 Winter Camper concept revealed
Nissan e-NV200 Winter Camper concept
News

Electric Nissan e-NV200 Winter Camper concept revealed

All-electric campervan features a built-in kitchen, a folding bed and a power pack that can be recharged using a roof-mounted solar panel
21 Jan 2021
Best electric cars to buy 2021
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2021

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
4 Jan 2021
Best car headlight bulbs 2021
Best car headlight bulbs - header
Product group tests

Best car headlight bulbs 2021

We shine a light on the best halogen headlight bulbs to fit to your car
19 Jan 2021