Here are what we think would be great car additions to EA SPORTS WRC, or a 2024 sequel, from Porsches to Hyundais and several in between.
We’d like to hope that Codemasters’ Southam continues to refine the visual performance of EA SPORTS WRC. While diminished in recent updates, there are still hiccups to be remedied. There’s another update expected around the middle of this month.
Setting aside any drawbacks, we find the gravel vehicle handling, sounds, damage and stage design all to be absorbing.
But, aside from another season of the Rally Pass system and virtual reality support, we don’t know if any additional content is on the way in 2024. Perhaps, we await an EA SPORTS WRC 24? When we spoke to the development team last year, future plans were ‘yet to be determined’.
This got us thinking, which cars would you like to see added as DLC, or in a sequel, that are not already included? Here are five ideas, self-imposing a draconian limit as we could go on all day.
This is despite the Octavia proving to be largely unsuccessful in competition. Across five seasons, it achieved precisely zero victories.
Team linchpin Armin Schwarz managed to hustle the barge onto the 2001 Safari Rally Kenya podium. A year later, Kenneth Eriksson could have achieved a similar result but suffered gearbox failure just 300 yards from the service zone.
Over its career, there was no shortage of talent behind the wheel. Alongside Schwarz and Eriksson, ‘84 champion Stig Blomqvist, ‘94 champion Didier Auriol, Toni Gardemeister and Bruno Thiry all helmed an ungainly Škoda at times.
It is intrinsically joyful to root for an underdog. Whenever one of those fêted drivers scraped a points finish, it felt like a victory.
When asked last year if this car could appear within EA SPORTS WRC, we were provided with a “no comment” through a massive grin by Ross Gowing, the title’s Senior Creative Director. We can but hope…
1970s Porsche 911
The H2, or H3, rear-wheel drive categories within EA SPORTS WRC are packed full of notable historic vehicles. But with one, we think, glaring admission – Porsche.
The vanishingly rare 911 SC RS for Group B, run by the then-fledgling Prodrive, is part of the roster. What we’re after is something a bit older and with a bit less power.
Björn Waldegård took three Monte Carlo victories between 1969 and 1970 in a 911. Yet, these wins pre-date the formulation of the World Rally Championship (1973 onwards) so this era is excluded from the reckoning.
However, the gimlet-eyed Swede competed twice in the East African Safari Rally with a rear-engine 2.7-litre German sportscar in 1973 and 1974, finishing second in the latter.
While contemporary organisation Tuthill uses different, and updated, specification 911s to compete in present-day events, we think something akin to its pumped-up safari-style Porsches could work well.
Hyundai Coupé Kit Car Evo2
A pleasant surprise in the Dirt Rally titles and EA SPORTS WRC is the inclusion of the front-wheel drive 2-litre rally cars predominately from the late ‘90s known as ‘Formula 2’.
The F2 category had relatively humble origins, initially made up of modified Vauxhall Astras and Nissan Sunnys paired with highly-strung engines. But the ‘Kit Car’ rule addendum allowed for more extreme machines, with wider tracks and flared arches.
Now the looks matched the aggressive driving style required to get the best of the tyre-scrabbling vehicles.
The Citroën Xsara is often seen as the doyen of the class, especially as Philippe Bugalski took two overall WRC victories in the French hatchback. But there’s another successful F2 car regularly overlooked – the Hyundai Coupé.
While the Korean manufacturer is seen as a WRC mainstay in the current era, that was far from the case 26 years ago. This makes this car especially significant, as it paved the way for the marque to enter global motorsport.
It entered the FIA 2-Litre World Rally Cup with the two-door in 1998, and thanks to the later ‘Evo2’ variant, took five career class wins. Often forgotten, but it achieved genuine success.
Citroën BX 4TC
As you can probably tell by now, we’re a fan of the incongruous rally cars – and there’s nothing more awkward than the Citroën BX 4TC.
It has a face, rear, and middle that only a mother could love. If it had tasted success, then surely we would have come to cherish the angular, nose-heavy, design.
Sadly, this Citroën – unlike the dominant Xsara, C4 and DS3 that came much later – was a disaster.
It arrived in the final season of Group B, 1986, when several teams had already proven that a mid-engine layout was the preeminent choice. Having seemingly learnt nothing from sister company Peugeot, who had conquered all the prior season with the mid-mounted 205, the BX arrived with its engine hanging over the front wheels.
A sixth-place finish on the Swedish rally was the only high point. Except it was not really, Jean-Claude Andruet might have been in the points, but the ungainly BX finished behind two Group A machines. The team only entered three WRC rounds before pulling the plug.
However, if this was recreated in EA SPORTS WRC, perhaps at last, it would shine? Could someone possibly take it to leaderboard glory? We’d like to at least try…
Any Toyota Outside Of Rally1
We’re stretching the premise of ‘five’ cars a bit here because the final entry in this article is not one model but an entire brand.
Toyota is present within EA SPORTS WRC, but only with the reigning champion Rally1 Yaris. Staggeringly, given the marques’ rich rallying heritage, this is the only Toyota available at present.
The reason as to why is not currently clear, and of note, Electronic Art’s Need for Speed Unbound is also bereft of Toyotas.
Going forward, either as downloadable content or in a follow-up game, we expect the new Rally2 Yaris to make a virtual appearance. It makes its homologated debut at this month’s real-world Monte Carlo Rally in the WRC2 category.
Current Toyotas don’t seem to be an issue, but anything older than 2022 is absent. The in-game ‘World Rally Car 2017-2021’ class could do with that generation of Yaris. This was the preeminent machine during that era – taking three driver and co-driver titles and two manufacturer crowns.
Rewinding the clock further, the Corolla used in the late ’90s by the likes of Carlos Sainz and the aforementioned Auriol is a notable absentee. Interestingly, this car did feature within KT Racing’s 2022 game WRC Generations, alongside several Celica variants.
We think the Toyota Celica Twin-cam Turbo from the mid-’80s – used by Juha Kankkunen to take his debut WRC victory – would fit perfectly within the Group B (RWD) category too.
Those are our selections, for now, but we could touch upon many more, like the Fiat Punto Super 1600, previous generation Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC or Safari-spec Datsun 240Z. Outside of some McRae-related classics, we believe a car must have competed on a WRC round for it to be eligible under the licencing agreement.
This is why we would like to hear your ideas in the comments below! What would you like to see?