After a duel against his compatriot Sébastien Ogier, the nine-time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb wins the Monte-Carlo Rally with his co-driver Isabelle Galmiche. He thus becomes, at the age of 47, the first winner of the new hybrid era in motorsport. A victory that marks a real turning point because, in addition to the performance of the French driver (his 80th race victory), it anchors the new challenges linked to energetic transitions in motorsport.
Indeed, this first round of the 2022 World Rally Championship (WRC) inaugurated the new M-Sport Ford hybrid engines. The powertrain of the Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid consists of a 380 hp 1.6 ecoboost engine, to which is added a 100 kW (134 hp) electric motor powered by a 3.9 kWh battery. If recharging takes 25 minutes and makes it possible to reach connection points during the all-electric race, the interest of the system lies above all in the addition of power it offers to the heat engine. By recovering kinetic energy during braking and coasting, the boost extra allows the Ford Puma to deliver 500 hp and 500 Nm of torque for a 0 to 100 km/h shot in 3.2 s. Power is sent to the ground through four-wheel drive and through a front and rear mechanical limited-slip differential for 50/50 torque split.
For its part, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) has declared that from this 2022 season, WRC competitors will use a non-fossil fuel, mixing synthetic and biomass elements (organic waste). The manufacturer Ford, meanwhile, announces that its range will be 100% electric or rechargeable hybrid by mid-2026. With this victory, the manufacturer therefore offers a nice publicity stunt for its hybrid engines.