The World Rallycross Championship is set to switch to fully electric cars in 2020, Motorsport News has learned.
Plans for electric cars to be introduced into the World RX structure were revealed last August, but a source has now revealed that electric cars will take the place of conventional internal combustion engine Supercars in the headline category after next year.
“Electric cars will be the world championship. They absolutely, categorically will be the world championship,” the source told MN.
“Fifteen cars are required to begin in 2020. Nine different manufacturers have been engaged in the discussions and negotiations so far, but the ability to buy the required components and build a car has to be open to privateer teams if they want to go that way too.”
It is understood the new electric cars will be based on a common carbon monocoque tub and safety structure that will be supplied as part of a chassis kit, expected to also include suspension and braking systems.
The FIA is expected to issue an invite to tender for the chassis kit in the coming weeks, with an additional invite to tender for batteries.
It is believed that motors will not be from a single supplier and neither will the composite bodyshells that will sit on top of the carbon chassis, allowing for different models of cars to be used.
Those bodyshells are expected to be marginally wider than existing cars, and could feature larger rear aerodynamic devises.
Quizzed about the future of the existing Supercars in World RX from 2020, MN‘s source said: “Electric World RX cars doesn’t mean the current Supercars go away.
“There’s absolutely 100% commitment to keeping the current Supercars and not just as a European championship, as some form of international championship that can race outside Europe if the market dictates.”
The new structure and rules are the result of multiple FIA Technical Working Group meetings over the last year that have included a table of manufacturers, the FIA and World RX promoter IMG.
Leading manufacturers have recently reiterated their interest in electric rallycross.
Before Christmas, Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin confirmed that Peugeot has increased its efforts for World RX 2018 with a view to being prepared for an electric switch
At the launch of Audi’s continued support of Mattias Ekstrom’s EKS World RX team, Audi Sport chief Dieter Gass said: “We gathered very positive experiences in World RX last year and are convinced of the series’ growth potential.
“In the medium run, we hope to see electric cars being fielded in this racing series because electrification is a focus topic at Audi also in motorsport.”
Volkswagen has also made clear that its electric Pikes Peak programme is designed as a learning project towards a future factory electric RX entry.