Although the exact details are still beyond murky, we've got word straight from The Man describing a bit of what's in store for the future of rallying on the international stage. The official statement:
As already announced, the 2010 World Rally Car will be S2000 based. However, the removable kit, already adopted by the WMSC, will be redefined with no electronic benefits, or similar upgrades, to ensure cost reductions. The new S2000-based World Rally Car will only be permitted for use on World Rally Championship events.
The FIA Production Car World Rally Championship will be retained for Group N cars, including the existing S2000 car.
Let's back up a bit. Super 2000 cars are currently sporting naturally-aspirated 2.0 Liter or smaller engines with no electronic driver aids. There are a few other rules, but what sets these rockets apart from the rest of the field is one chief difference: affordability. Rally is sometimes leagues above other comparable motorsports in terms of cost. It's in the FIA's interest to keep costs low as possible to attract more manufacturers in an effort at capturing a larger market of viewers.
The year 2010 marks the arrival of the World Rally Championship spec vehicle. The only information available at the moment is word this car will be Super 2000-based, but will feature a removable performance kit featuring a spec'd turbocharger, aero package and a few other small modifications looking to add somewhere around 50 horsepower. The kit is expected to cost somewhere south of 30,000 euro. It's likely the kit will be used to differentiate between green and experienced drivers — slower rally cars are safer and more easily controlled.
Hat tip to Scroggs!