The 2021 World Rally Championship (WRC) season is still fairly young, and the M-Sport Ford rally team has thus far produced some mixed results at Monte Carlo and Finland. However, big changes are on the horizon, as the M-Sport Ford rally team has announced that it will utilize hybrid power in its race cars beginning next season.
The team has committed to using an electrified powertrain starting in 2022 through at least 2024. Switching to hybrid power from the current Ford EcoBoost powered Ford Fiesta WRC car is obviously a big change for the WRC, but it will help make the sport more sustainable while also reflecting trends in the automotive industry.
For example, Ford recently announced that it was doubling its investment in EVs to $22 billion, and committed that by mid-2026, 100 percent of its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and it will go completely all-electric by 2030.
M-Sport will work with the FIA to help develop the hybrid technology that will be used in WRC next season, a position it’s uniquely qualified for. Since joining forces in 1997, M-Sport and Ford have become one of the most successful partnerships in rallying history, racking up seven world championship titles, 61 victories, 262 podiums, and more than 1,500 stage wins.
In addition to making the switch to hybrid power, the M-Sport Ford rally team also believes that forthcoming rules changes will give it a competitive advantage in the 2022 season. These changes include the creation of a workshop team dedicated to the project, as well as a separate test program. Couple that with the introduction of the hybrid Fiesta Rally1, which has been in development since 2019, and both the team and its fans have plenty to look forward to.