Rallying

  • The Silk Way Rally doesn't get the same coverage as the legendary Paris-Dakar, but it's one of the toughest tests in the automotive world. Here are some of the best images from the first three legs of the event, which kicked off earlier this week.
  • Based on its small size and limited range, the Nissan Leaf would usually be one of the last vehicles you'd choose for driving thousands of miles through remote areas. But the electric vehicle advocates at Plug In Adventures are about to do just that on the 10,000-mile (16,000-km) Mongol Rally.
  • Among the flood of faster World Rally cars being launched, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC stands out as one of the wildest. Prepared by British firm M-Sport, the RS is based on the brand new Fiesta, and takes full advantage of the extra aerodynamic freedom written into the 2017 FIA WRC regulations.
  • A set of new regulations means World Rally Championship cars will be faster, produce more downforce and look meaner than before. After announcing its return to rallying last year, Toyota has released the car it will be using to take on the WRC in 2017, the Gazoo Racing WRC Yaris. ​​
  • The Paris-Dakar Rally is one of the toughest tests in motorsport, pitting cars against blazing heat and sand dunes. Reaching the finish is impressive and cars that have completed the race are treated with a certain reverence. At Nissan, that has led to a full rebuild of the Patrol Fanta Limon.
  • Not even the loss of Volkswagen can dampen the excitement about WRC 2017, which will see faster cars with more downforce taking on gravel, snow and tarmac stages worldwide. Hyundai has just released the car it will be using in its search for glory in the coming year, the i20 Coupe WRC.
  • Having won the last four world championships, Volkswagen has pulled the pin on its WRC program. The decision comes just a week after Audi ended its involvement in the WEC, and signals a renewed push within the wider Volkswagen Group toward "upcoming technologies" and electric power.
  • The Citroen C3 is cute, but you wouldn't confuse it for an all-out rally racer. While those air-fillled bubbles might be handy in the city, they're less useful on a gravel special stage, which is why the Citroen C3 WRC Concept trades them for an aero package and all-wheel drive.
  • Over Group B's four-year run, the pressure to turn road cars into boosted monsters became too much for Audi, which decided to develop a car for the Group S series that was set to replace it. The Audi Group S is that car, designed for a series that was scrapped before it started.
  • The Peugeot 2008 DKR was one of the most beastly off-roaders we looked at in 2014. Its large, rugged looks didn't translate to success at Dakar earlier this year, however. So Peugeot developed the even bigger, gnarlier 2008 DKR16.
  • Toyota has announced it will rejoin the FIA World Rally Championship after a 17-year hiatus. The Japanese giant is hoping its WRC Yaris, which will make its competitive debut in 2017, can carry on the legacy left by cars like the legendary Celica GT-Four.
  • The Subaru WRX has always been a touchstone for rally car performance in a street legal car with its fast handling, turbocharged acceleration and hefty hood scoops. Subaru's long-awaited refresh adds a six speed manual or automatic gearbox and new styling.