Hybrid Rally Cars Are Being Forced To Make Artificial Noise In Electric Mode

Motorsport / 1 Comment

The new regulations will come into play later this year.

The FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) has introduced new regulations that will force certain WRC teams to fit a warning sound to hybrid rally cars operating in EV mode, reports Autosport.

Toyota, M-Sport-Ford, and Hyundai will be required to fit the safety equipment into their respective cars, which include the GR Yaris, the WRC Puma, and the i20 N. As per the new rules, the warning must emit a sound of at least 80 dB at a distance of around 6.6 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle and about 3.3 feet from the ground.

The new regulation will come into play on May 1, 2023, and stipulates that the sound must be active when the vehicle is in electric mode. Once the car is traveling more than 18.6 mph, it can be shut off.


In an attempt to be more environmentally responsible, these hybrid rally cars - which race in the Rally1 category - were introduced in the 2022 season and run on sustainable fuel. Fitted with a 100 kW electric motor, it is now mandatory for these vehicles to operate in electric mode when driving within the service park.

The regulations are, of course, aimed at improving the safety of spectators and team members. Following relaxed COVID-19 rules, the service parks are more populated than they once were, so it makes sense that the FIA is taking precautions to prevent any unfortunate incidents.

The EV mode is also required when the rally route enters an HEV zone. This was done to minimize disruptions to residents in towns and villages the cars must pass through as they make their way to different stages.


Rally de Portugal, the fifth round of the 2023 WRC series, will be the first event where the rule is enforced. This 204-mile stage will take place between May 11 - 14.

Road-going electric vehicles are also required to have a similar setup, which alerts pedestrians to the impending arrival of an EV. Recently, BMW had to recall the iX and i4 EVs as the warning system was not working on certain vehicles.

Sadly, the United States doesn't have access to the road-going versions these rally cars are based on. The GR Yaris won't make its way to our shores (at least we have the GR Corolla), and the closest we have to the i20 N is the Elantra N, a bigger and less agile sports sedan.

Once rumored to reach America, Ford is yet to make any announcements about the Puma, which is a shame. At least we can watch the rally version tear up challenging rally stages.


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