Rally

Stellantis Motorsport Chief Gives Verdict On WRC Future Vision

Published: 02, May 2024

The proposed changes to World Rally Championship Rally1 regulations for 2025 and 2026 doesn’t concern the Stellantis Group, but the car maker is maintaining a monitoring brief on 2027 rules.

The FIA released its roadmap for the future of the WRC in February, which it hopes will attract new manufacturers to the championship.

Included in a plethora of proposals are technical modifications to both Rally1 and Rally2 classes. The adjustments to the rules for 2025 and 2026 include the abolition of hybrid power, a reduction in the aero, achieved by a modified rear wing, and a reduced air restrictor, to bring the Rally1 cars closer to Rally2 vehicle performance. The proposal also includes a plan to introduce an upgrade package to Rally2 vehicles.

The FIA has also released guidelines for 2027 which take the form of Rally1 vehicles being limited at 400,000 euros and based around the current Rally1 concept.

STELLANTIS MOTORSPORT CUSTOMER RACING THROUGH THE EYES OF THE DRIVERS |  Motorsport | Stellantis

The cars will feature a larger spaceframe chassis utilising a common safety cell to reduce costs and enable both manufacturers and tuners to develop vehicles. The chassis will be able to accommodate bodywork based on vehicles in the B class, C class, compact, SUV and concept car segments and will yield approximately 330 horsepower.

The Stellantis Group, which owns many brands including Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Fiat, Lancia, Opel and Peugeot, is presently represented in the WRC at WRC2 level through Citroen. From Stellantis’ vast portfolio of brands, Citroen most recently competed at the summit of the WRC before exiting at the end of 2019.

When asked if the proposals regarding Rally1’s future trajectory interests Stellantis, its customer racing manager Didier Clement told Motorsport.com: “We don’t know. We take part in the discussion with the FIA regarding the regulations.

"We have no interest at all for the 2025 and 2026 regulation in regards to the current Rally1, but for 2027 we will collaborate with all the manufacturers and the FIA. How did we see the future right now? You never know.”

Read Also: Ducati: Cota Motogp Podium Essential Step For Bastianini

Pressed explicitly on the revisions for 2027, he added: “The FIA have done a good job. The technical department do a really excellent job. In terms of promotion, we have to enhance it a bit like everyone said but everybody is in the same path and want the same thing. We want to maintain the WRC at a decent level.”

STELLANTIS MOTORSPORT CUSTOMER RACING THROUGH THE EYES OF THE DRIVERS |  Motorsport | Stellantis

One of the group’s brands, Lancia, has gone on record to state that it is “working” on a rally return in recent months, but Clement says this “dream” can only be debated once regulations are in place. It is understood, as it stands, Rally4 provides the most feasible option for a Lancia return.

“Firstly, it is a dream for everybody because Lancia has history and memories but right now before we think about a Lancia return you have to discuss the regulations. We base our strategy on regulations, and it is not set right now so it is undoubtedly too soon,” he added.

It also seems likely Stellantis, through its Citroen subsidiary, doesn’t have any desire to produce an enhancement module for its C3 Rally2 car to create a Rally2 Plus option for competitors.

“We do not think that WRC2 Plus should be helpful for WRC Rally1,” added Clement. “As soon as you consider that WRC2 Plus will be slower than the Rally1 and when you consider that WRC2 Plus will have no chance to win any rallies overall, it doesn’t help.”