All three WRC manufacturers sign up for new hybrid era

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LONDON (Reuters) - Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford have committed to the new hybrid era of the world rally championship starting next year, the production car-based series said on Wednesday.

All three manufacturers have signed up for three years from 2022, it added in a statement.

The top tier of rallying will be powered from next season, the 50th anniversary of the championship, by an electric motor coupled with the current combustion engine.

Hyundai's challenger will be based on the i20N road car.

"It's no exaggeration to say the introduction of sustainable hybrid technology for the WRC’s headline category marks one of the biggest milestones in the sport’s history," said WRC promoter Jona Siebel.

"The hybrid powertrain forms an integral part of the automotive industry as the world moves towards a more sustainable future, and it’s essential the WRC is aligned with this evolution."

The WRC has also put out tenders for sustainable fuel and branding of plug-in hybrid charging stations in the service parks.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)