2022 marks the 50th season of the World Rally Championship, and for the first time in the sport’s history, manufacturers will be required to build their high-octane hatches with a hybrid drivetrain. Sure, some will call it heresy and reminisce about the glory days of Group B, but given the incredible performance EVs have to offer, we’d argue that the future looks even brighter.
In keeping with the new regulations, team M-Sport Ford has just unveiled the first prototype of its hybrid Puma Rally1 car. Set to replace the outgoing Fiesta WRC, it’ll be powered by the same turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, albeit updated with an added 100kW electric motor and 3.9kWh battery. So, in addition to allowing drivers to travel between stages on pure electric power, the setup will also be able to provide three-second 134hp boosts throughout the race. Charging in a mere 25 minutes at service stations, the Puma Rally1 even goes so far as to ditch the traditional racing fuel of its predecessors in favor of a 100% sustainable fossil-free mix. At this point, Ford has kept the rest of the car under wraps (literally), but you can follow its development at the link below.