• Oct 14th 2009 at 3:33PM
  • 12

Citroen DS3 WRC test mule – Click above for image gallery

With all the regulatory changes in Formula One over the past couple, the rally world is arguably in the midst of an even greater state of flux. Manufacturers are dropping out of the World Rally Championship en masse, the rival Intercontinental Rally Challenge is closing in fast, and soon the WRC will be changing to a more cost-effective formula. Along with it, the participating manufacturers will be developing new rally machinery, but none will be as important as the one you see here.

With rally superstar Sebastien Loeb behind the wheel, Citroen has won five consecutive drivers' titles, and five out of the past seven manufacturers' titles as well – first in the Xsara and then in the C4. But to adapt to the new formula, the French rally team will be switching to a rally-spec super-mini.

Rather than basing their new challenger on the new C3, however, Citroen has opted to use the opportunity to promote the more premium DS3, released in production form just last month at the Frankfurt show. The Mini rival's avant-garde interior has been stripped out and fitted with a pair of competition buckets and a full roll cage. And to keep the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine breathing, the Citroen rally team has fitted its new machine with more scoops than a paparazzo. The rally-prepped DS3 is expected to hit tarmac, gravel and snow for the 2011 season, but you can check it out now in the gallery of photos below.

[Source: Racingpassion via Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      the old cars like C4, focus, etc, etc, wil set you back about 500.000€ just to build them.
      ask for a quote on a rally tranny, differential, drive shafts @ xtrac.

      every FIA sanctionized event is cutting down on cost.
      lets see if it wil work and bring back viewers and more drivers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if Subaru will develop a S2000-type (Super 2000) rally car? It's too bad Audi, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Toyota are no longer in WRC.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Front-drive based... all transverse all the time. BOO.
        tiny little econoboxes...
        now in the future, they are nixing turbos, too..."

        Rallying was most entertaining in the days before the Audi Quattro came on the scene, when RWD Ford Escort RSs, Opel Ascona 400s, Mitsubishi Lancers, Vauxhall Chevette HSRs and Lancia Stratos HFs traversed the stages. I'd love to see a return to basics when the sport was relatively inexpensive to participate in and the cars very simple in comparison to today's machinery. The WRC has become to complicated for its own good.
        • 5 Years Ago

        It could be worse, WRC could be just like NASCAR.

        • 5 Years Ago
        It is too bad that WRC put it's collective heads up their rear, and helped push those automakers out... or at least made it easy for them to decide to leave.

        Front-drive based... all transverse all the time. BOO.
        tiny little econoboxes...
        now in the future, they are nixing turbos, too...

        Why bother, if the hardware has to be dialed so far back, to discount clearly superior layouts, like Subaru's turbo boxer powered, longitudinal driveline layout. Why should Subaru have to cancel that?

        And the first subaru that is FWD, transverse, and not a boxer engine, but marketed as a performance car, rather than a city car like R1 and R2... will be the mark of Subaru turning away from it's own engineering success.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually this car will be powered by a 1.6L turbo mill. Loeb says that the 1.6 Turbo will be fast but will have less torque than the current cars. VW is interested in WRC with the Scirocco but they want to continue using Semi automatic transmissions as they want to promote their DSG technology.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I always do my air filters like that on all my cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      wtf are you talking about?!?
      it'a one beautiful little hatch!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dont spam your website, thanks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It must be French because that thing is ug-le'...
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is ugly as yo' momma.
      In fact, it kinda looks like yo' momma's mini van.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a taxi.
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