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
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
New Citroen C-Series trim lands for C3, C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross
Citroen

New Citroen C-Series trim lands for C3, C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross

The new budget-friendly Citroen C3 C-Series, C3 Aircross C-Series and C5 Aircross C-Series are targeted at online buyers, grouping popular options int…
8 Dec 2020
Citroen Ami city car 75% likely to come to the UK says firm's boss
Citroen

Citroen Ami city car 75% likely to come to the UK says firm's boss

Revolutionary Citroen Ami city car being assessed for British market in next few weeks
27 Oct 2020

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car
Nissan Juke EV - front (watermarked)
Nissan Juke

Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car

The new Nissan Juke-sized electric car will sit below the Ariya, and our exclusive images preview how it could look
8 Apr 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed

The new all-electric Kia EV6 gets two batteries, 4WD and even a rapid sporty GT version. Prices start from £40,895
30 Mar 2021