Where fuel efficiency is currently concerned, nearly every aspect related to automobiles is impacted to some degree. Now that includes Rally Racing. Sporting their World Rally Championship color scheme on one side and an environmental invoking motif on the other, Citroën hopes to further expand on driver Sebastien Loeb’s racing success with the WRC C4 HyMotion4 concept. Citroën announced in Paris that it will become the first manufacturer competing in the World Rally Championship to field a hybrid drive WRC competitor. Through this concept the company hopes to stand out as a source of performance-related, reliable and rational technological innovations.
The concept features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 320 hp and is also equipped with a parallel electric motor capable of delivering 167 hp through the rear axle. With the addition of an electric kinetic energy recovery system connected to a lithium ion battery pack on the fuel tank, the WRC C4 HYMotion4 both reduces emissions and improves performance. The HYmotion4 system enables a proportion of the kinetic energy produced during braking to be recovered and stored. This energy is accumulated by a motor-generator in the form of electricity in battery packs positioned at the rear of the car. This motor-generator reduces brake wear and fade by providing regenerative braking capability. Given the variability of use a rally car sees on any given stage, there are a number of different ways this flexible drivetrain can be employed. In one situation, if the driver needs bursts of extra power for passing, a button could be pressed to provide an instant electric boost. Citroën claims a increased range of up to 25 miles with the hybrid racer and reduced fuel consumption of 30 percent on road stages where the electric drive is used. The driver can also enable an electric-only drive mode for use on road sections, particularly in urban or residential areas where noise is a concern. Because rally cars run under so many different types of conditions all the different operating modes are driver selectable. Citroën hasn’t released a time frame for when they will try to run the hybrid WRC car in actual competition.