According to FIA technical director, Bernard Niclot, World Rally Championship (WRC) cars are going to be more ‘spectacular’ in 2017. In fact the new technical regulations will mean that the cars you see charging around the world’s best rally stages next year will be the closest thing to those legendary Group B monsters that spat fire and tried to eat spectators back in the 1980s.
This will be achieved by upping the maximum permissible engine power limit to 284-kilowatts, increasing the width of the car by 55 millimeters and allowing for a larger rear wing. There will also be longer front and rear overhangs plus a 25-kilogram reduction in overall weight. 2017 will also see the re-introduction of the active centre differential. So with more muscle on tap and vastly different aerodynamics the cars should, in theory and on paper, be a lot more ‘spectacular’ to watch from a spectator’s point of view.
Which is good. We need more excitement in modern motorsport. We can also expect them to be – if this new Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC is anything to go by – equally exciting to look at even when they’re standing still. – Thomas Falkiner