Tuesday | 07 Apr 2015

Hyundai won’t rush debut of “99% new” i20

Hyundai’s second generation i20 World Rally Car is in the “middle-term” stage of its development, but not yet at the point where the team can say when it will replace the current model.

Work on the car began in early 2014 with a competitive debut expected midway through this season, but team principal Michel Nandan told wrc.com the process would not be rushed.

“In 2013 we had just six months to develop the current car, so we still had things to do after it was introduced,” he said.

“We don’t want to do any mistakes with this new car, which is about 99 per cent new. It has to be much better engineered and developed than its predecessor. We had a bit more time to do it, so it is a lot more optimised than the present car. We are taking our time in order to do things like they should be done.”

The new car began testing in late 2014, and had its most thorough run a fortnight ago, when Kevin Abbring and Thierry Neuville took the wheel on gravel roads in Southern Spain.

“The test went quite well with no major issues,” said Nandan. “But we are still in a development phase, still improving and changing some components. We have not yet done any direct comparisons with the current model.

“In the following weeks we will evaluate the potential of the car in order to determine when it will be good for us to introduce. For now, it’s too early to say. Our aim is to have a competitive car next year. This is why we don’t want to rush it.”

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