8th November 2017, 20:57
The future of WRC machines, full electric or hybrid?!
I think it's time we start a discussion about the future for regulations of the next era of WRC, even if we're not interely sure when they will begin to be discussed
As we all know, and some of us dread, the future of car transportation will be heavily based on e-mobility, several legislators are working to ban combustion only powertrains beyond 2040, so sooner or later the sport will have to adapt to new ways.
As I see it in a decade, when almost all cars sold are full BEV vehicles, the chances for sportscars to remain some sort of hybrids is very likely.
Ofcourse as things are going right now, the optimal car for the everyday commuter will be probably be something as we see today in a E-Golf, fully electric vehicle that caters mainly to those only interested in getting somewhere cheaply and fast, however, there will be still a significant part of the market (in which I am included) keen on the sport variants, most likely still looking for the emotional aspect of driving with sounds, vibrations and perfomance.
As for the emissions it is probably believable to say that in in 10-15 years time nobody will care about them, as the hybrid sportscars sold will be a drop in the ocean compared to the overall car sales volume, much like today, a Golf R sells very little compared to the regular Golfs.
For me the possibilites of an Hybrid powertrain are endless in a sports cars, we can combine both for very top perfomance, and we can also have a full EV apllication for the commutes and city use (as some cities may only allow full EV circulation for cars in the future), where a drop of petrol will not be needed (Panamera E-Hybrid does it already in a very efficient way).
However we will still be able to have that petrol engine for perfomance and emotion.
So accordingly the sport will have to adapt, as various manufacturers are favoring hybrid platforms for the future sportscars, is it feasable to have them in the WRC very soon?
Keep in mind that Im looking 15-30 years ahead, after that I fully believe in the doom of a society which wont allow you to drive, and most likely several if not all car makers will vanish since everyday transportation will be done in full autonomous pods owned by some sort of transport company like Lyft or Uber.
Last edited by Francis44; 8th November 2017 at 20:59.
8th November 2017, 21:16
Current issue is what happens when a hybrid/ev has an off. There are safety issues for those attending the scene and all marshals would need special training/tools if the WRC is to go down that route.
Likes: AndyRAC (8th November 2017)
8th November 2017, 21:52
From technical standpoint it's totally possible to have different EV/hybrid options already now. Even very small changes like changing from ALS to electric-supported turbo.
From marketing point it's probably a bit more complicated.
Manufacturers typically use WRC to show that their (mostly boring) cars are "sporty"/good performing to increase brand credit. Which is why "high value" brands like Audi/BMW don't do any rallying (Audi did it in 80s precisely to increase the brand value.. now it doesn't need). Similarly "sporty" brands like Alfa Romeo, Lotus or similar also don't need to show anything and don't have the volume/money to justify it.
So these manufacturers aim imo on 2 groups:
1. people who don't know that much about cars but think it looks good when they see "world champions" in the marketing
2. people who buy "cheap" sport cars (hothatches, Evos etc)
The first group doesn't know/care what engine/fuel the car uses and mostly don't even know it.
The second group mostly prefers petrol over EV/hybrid at the moment.
Btw. some manufacturers also enter as a sort of "national pride" aspect (mostly french ones), but that falls into the first category above.
Given this I don't see any real incentive from FIA/manus to change the rules any time soon.
This might change when the younger generation gets used to the instant torque of electric engines as these become more available for general sale and hence the group 2 starts buying electric-based/supported sportscars. (this move is already started in the hypercar world).
Likes: sonnybobiche (9th November 2017)
8th November 2017, 22:03
Funny you mention hypercars, I think that is a good example on how WRC cars may work in the future, in hybrid form.
Now it needs to be made cheapern safer and more efficient.
As for the young generation, unfortunately I think they will not care about driving and consequentely Motorsports. They care more about cheap transportation services and its too honorous for them to buy a car nowadays.
Last edited by Francis44; 8th November 2017 at 22:10.
8th November 2017, 22:07
I don't know how much it will be enjoyable without the noise of fuel engines.
8th November 2017, 22:12
Don't really see electric cars in rallying in the next 10 years but only time will tell.
Unless the rallying format changes significantly it just won't work.
Maybe they can do a Formula E format and have 1 car per stage
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8th November 2017, 22:12
Agreed, however if they go full electric or full something else someday they need a solution for the sound. I've read recently Porsche has a full on team studying ways to have their Ev's sound just as loud and exciting as an ICE (their words apparently).
Originally Posted by AL14
8th November 2017, 22:13
Wanting to own a car and wanting to drive one are 2 different things. And another completely different thing is using the car as freetime/fun activity of the kart/track day type.
Anyway what I wanted to point out with hypercars is that you already have 2 approaches there:
- the hybrid one with P1, 918, LaFerrari...
- and fully electric NIO EP9, RIMAC etc.
I think these two paths will stay in the hypercar market for a while, just like they will in the civilian low-cost sports car one.
9th November 2017, 00:01
The Tesla Model S would be capable of doing current tarmac rallies and giving it the beans maybe if you swapped the battery pack at the midday halt. (if it was homologated etc)
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been used in off road events and there has been the Acciona - I don't think anyone told the Dakar they would need marshals with special equipment somewhere along the 10 000 km route in case the electric car had an accident.
The wrc rules for safety are likely to center around the 'fia elite drivers' rather than the concerns for acciona electric experimentalists so wrc is likely to continue with most renewable hydrocarbons.
Panta wrc race fuels - 60 percent bioethanol etc
My guess the wrc will continue to focus on internal combustion engine for a while yet, and use fuel efficient new designs - further development of the direct injection, nissan variable compression and Mazda's compression ignition etc
https://youtu.be/3WjG35pzcdg (mazda spark controlled compression ignition)
The above continuance of the ice engines is supported by what the Euro politicians will be allowing as vehicle emissions in the near future.
FIA is also working on sustainability.
http://www.fiainstitute.com/sustainability-3/ (and links to their other programs)
9th November 2017, 11:23
As I see purpose of Ecars is to move emissions from cities to periphery... As most of WRC happens out of cities there is no point to do that. I think that emmisions of an E-car are actually bigger than those of an modern petrol car.
If we are talking about fuel efficiency/4wd driveability... there can be many options, but most of them too expensive as far as I know this sport.