Fans can look forward to an exciting throaty roar from the powerful new World Rally Cars when they debut in the WRC next season.
The promise of more noise from 2017’s upgraded power plants comes from Citroën Racing engine manager Patrice Davesne, who is leading the development of the new C3 World Rally Car engine, and will delight fans yearning for a more macho sound in the rally’s special stages.
“With the new engine we have much power at higher revs and that means much noise, and the feeling when you watch the car is much more noise,” he said.
Next season’s engine displacement will remain at 1.6 liters, but increasing the size of the turbo restrictor from 33mm to 36mm will boost power to around 380 bhp (380 horsepower), bringing a more aggressive sound.
Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre have been testing the C3 as the French manufacturer prepares to return to the WRC after a year’s sabbatical, and Davesne said they were impressed.
“Concerning the driveability – the feeling of the drivers – it depends on the configuration of the road. If the stage is quick, like in Finland, they said it’s an evolution but not a revolution. On the tricky roads, the increase of the power creates greater acceleration and the feeling of the drivers is ‘wow, it’s another world,’” Davesne said.
Although Davesne’s team has drawn on experience acquired from Citroën’s World Touring Car program, which used a similar power plant in its Elysée, the C3’s engine is new and the dyno at the team’s Versailles base has played a crucial role in development.
“We are very lucky to have great experience in WRC events so for each problem we have met in the past we have developed a process and adapted our dyno to solve these. So now when we develop a new engine we have many, many processes that we use on the dyno to avoid any problem we have already met in the past,” Davesne said.
“Also we are lucky to have a very good dyno that is able to simulate conditions. We can run on the dyno a stage anywhere in the world, except perhaps Sweden. But for example, Mexico, we can simulate altitude with our dyno and it’s a real advantage,” he added.