The Welshman had a high-speed spin in Puhoi which sent his Yaris skirting into a bank. After making frantic repairs to the car’s radiator after the stage, Evans was able to limp back to the Auckland service park only to be told he could not continue.
Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala confirmed that, following inspection by the team and the FIA, roll cage damage had been discovered.
"We have been investigating the car with the team and the FIA, and unfortunately we have noticed there is roll cage damage," said Latvala. "We have to retire the car for the day."
Latvala explained that his squad will further assess the damage later this afternoon to decide whether or not Evans can rejoin for Sunday’s final leg.
WATCH: Evans spins, picks up extensive damage
“For today it's over,” he continued, “but after the service we will have more time to investigate it and look at what could be done. We don't know about Sunday yet.
“I know exactly how it feels - I have had the same thing in my own [driving] career. It's not nice, but the most important thing is that Elfyn has proved he has the speed.”
Evans’ retirement is good news for Hyundai as it promotes Thierry Neuville and Oliver Solberg into fourth and fifth overall heading into the afternoon loop.
- Full coverage from Repco Rally New Zealand is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.