FIA wants to make the competition more exciting for fans so they have elaborated a series of modifications aimed at increasing the popularity of the rally championship by introducing more aggressive-looking cars. Compared to the current cars, the 2017-spec vehicles will be 55 mm wider and will also come with increased overhangs (+60 mm front & +30 mm rear) while the rear wing is also set to grow in size and will protrude by as much as 50 mm from the rear bumper.
More importantly, all 2017 WRC cars are once again going to feature electronically-controlled center differentials and will also be lighter as minimum weight will be reduced by 25 kg compared to the current crop of vehicles.
The list of changes doesn’t end here as the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines will receive an output hike from the current 300 bhp to a grand total of 380 bhp. This serious power gain will be achieved by increasing the restrictor of the turbocharger from 34 to 36 mm. As far as the boost pressure is concerned, this will remain unchanged at a maximum of 2.5 bars.
Interestingly, current World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier has expressed his full support for FIA’s plan to revamp the competition and he believes these new regulations will represent a positive move for WRC starting with the 2017 season. He says the additional power of the cars will make the driving more spectacular for fans while the wider and longer body will enable more aggressive cars which should also be to the audience’s liking.
According to FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen, these new rules have received a general agreement among all the WRC manufacturers as well as the competition’s governing body.
Aside from presenting these new rules for the 2017 WRC season, FIA has also published the 2016 calendar for F1 which will have a record number of 21 races.