Citroen has begun testing a hybrid, partially electric-powered, version of its C4 WRC car.
The C4 WRC HYbrid4 was unveiled at the paris Motor show last October, and has now completed its first test on a proper rally stage with factory driver Dani Sordo at the wheel.
The car features a 990-cell lithium ion battery and a 125kW electric motor in addition to its usual petrol engine. It can function in normal internal combustion mode, or can recover energy under braking to use as a boost via the electric engine when additional torque is required. Citroen has also designed the electric mode to be used on road sections between stages.
Citroen engineer Didier Raso said the machine remained a concept car at present, but that the company was preparing for the likelihood of environmentally-friendly technologies being mandated in the World Rally Championship in the future.
"Citroen Racing wanted to show its ability to adapt this technology to motorsport," Raso said. "If at any point in the future the regulations permit the use of hybrid technology, we will be able to react straight away."