Hyundai Motorsport has carried out the first tests of an all-new World Rally Car based on the latest version of the Korean manufacturer’s i20 road car.
Hyundai test driver Bryan Bouffier carried out the very first shakedown of the car in Germany last month, checking systems and collecting data for upcoming development tests this year and next.
The newly launched third generation i20 road car is a complete overhaul of the current model, and Hyundai says the WRC version incorporates all the learning and feedback that the team has collected during its first season in the World Rally Championship.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “It’s always an important moment when you take a car to the road for the first time and this one was no exception. We have been working on the development of our future WRC car for some time now and we were finally able to put the first prototype on its wheels last month. The data and experience that we have accumulated during our debut WRC season has contributed to our approach with this new car.
The current i20 World Rally Car made its competitive debut at this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo and has been been developed further throughout the season. The model scored a surprise one-two victory at Rallye Deutschland in August.
Nandan added that the team was in no rush to replace the existing model. “We will introduce it in competition when we are absolutely sure that it is ready to replace the current i20 World Rally Car,” he said.
“It’s a totally different car compared to current WRC model; the platform is different, the car is longer, lower and wider and it features a new engine, transmission and other components. Of course we are just at the beginning of a long process and we will continue to work hard on development and continue testing in the next months and throughout 2015.”