For Manufacturers, BTCC’s Hybrid Push Is Only Good News

The UK’s top-level touring car series, the British Touring Car Championship, will introduce hybrid power units in 2022 as the organizers look to reduce carbon emissions.

While the engines themselves will stay the same, 2.0 liter turbocharged engines, renowned British engineering firm Cosworth will develop an approved specification hybrid system to be used by all teams and manufacturers. This means there is not much room for R&D from the manufacturers in a bid to keep costs down. However, it does mean that powertrain marketing opportunities for the likes of Honda, BMW, Vauxhall, Subaru and Toyota, all of whom field manufacturer entries in the series.

With the cars being based on road-going models, albeit heavily modified ones, potential customers can see them competing using hybrid technology on TV or in person, trackside. For marketing purposes, that will be invaluable as automakers push hybrids to customers in their attempts to meet the ever-stricter emissions targets set by governments around the world.

TU-Automotive spoke to BTC Racing, an independent team running two Honda Civic Type Rs in the BTCC. When asked about the introduction of the hybrid systems in 2022, the team was nothing but positive. “The BTCC is renowned worldwide for being ahead of the game, Hybrid technology is the future on the automotive landscape and we at BTC Racing will embrace the future and fully supporting Alan Gow and the Championship”, said team director Richard Tait-Harris. 

When asked about the Cosworth-developed hybrid unit itself, Tait-Harris was also positive. “The Cosworth unit will be one specification for everyone competing in the BTCC, thus one fixed cost. We will save costs in engine development, parts and components in terms of ware and tear,” he said.

It’s also a great marketing opportunity for the teams and manufacturers, since hybrid technology in road cars is on the up. “From a marketing perspective this route in terms of the championship is absolutely the right direction to take and we will be proud to communicate our involvement in Hybrid technology,” Tait-Harris said.

He also had good things to say about the removal of success ballast, in favor of limiting the available hybrid power to successful drivers. “Removing the success ballast in preference to an adjustable power regulation will be a great benefit all round including an element of cost reduction, being a lot friendlier on the cars including brakes, tire degradation and the obvious, fuel consumption thus reducing CO2 emissions which is the greatest benefit to us all,” he said.

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