Potential customers were given the chance to try out Hyundai Motorsport’s new i20 R5 for the first time during a four-day asphalt test in France.
Teams and drivers from across Europe got a feel for the forthcoming WRC 2 contender at the private Chambley circuit in north-eastern France, less than a month before the i20 R5 is due to be homologated.
A raft of high-profile competitors attended and in addition to climbing behind the wheel, they also had the opportunity to speak to test-driver Kevin Abbring and engineers who have played a vital role throughout the project’s testing phase, which began in January.
Concentrating on long runs for two days, Hyundai added more than 500km to the car’s development with a focus on fine-tuning, reporting no major issues.
Customer Racing Manager Andrea Adamo said: “We are now very close to starting the homologation of the New Generation i20 R5. As we have gone through the programme, each time we have run has become more and more important, so naturally it was very important to have a successful test last week.
“At Chambley, we were able to concentrate on fine-tuning and building on the results we had seen previously to prove the reliability we have built into the engine. However, the ultimate success of the project will fall with our customers.
“It was great to welcome them to the test, and for them to get their first chance to drive the car. The feedback from those who got behind the wheel was very positive, which is both encouraging and rewarding.”
Preparation of the first i20 R5 customer chassis is under way at Hyundai Motorsport’s Alzenau headquarters in Germany. Following its homologation in early September, the car’s competitive debut is expected later the same month, with further test days planned on both asphalt and gravel for interested drivers later this year.