Peugeot will expand its involvement in the FIA World Rallycross Championship beginning next year, with an eye towards the introduction of an electric class for as soon as the 2020 season.
The French manufacturer outlined its increased commitment to the championship on Wednesday, which will see nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb continue with Team Peugeot-Hansen in one of the squad’s Peugeot 208 WRX entries.
However, Peugeot revealed it “stands ready” to support the developments of E-WRX, an all-electric class, which could be introduced in the next three years.
“The brand wants to embark on a new challenge with the idea of accompanying our own energy transition but also to create a strong and unique bond with new customers and the new generation,” said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.
“The E-WRX responds perfectly to this strategy. Our ambassador Sébastien Loeb will support us in this new and daring adventure.”
Peugeot won the WRX Teams’ Championship in 2015 and were runners-up last year, with Team Peugeot-Hansen currently sitting second in the title race entering next month’s season finale in Cape Town, South Africa.
The announcement came on the same day Ford announced it would pull its Hoonigan Racing-run program from the series.
“The World Championship is on a very exciting trajectory with new events in new territories planned over the next 24 months,” said WRX Managing Director for IMG, Paul Bellamy.
“We are fully engaged with current and prospective competitors regarding our vision for the future of the championship with the FIA and manufacturers on the introduction of electric cars, which will not happen before 2020.
“We are speaking to a variety of new teams, manufacturers and venues who are interested in entering the World Championship from next season and are very excited about the future of our series.”