The appearance of Hyundai Motorsport's i20 WRC is expected to change at August’s Neste Oil Rally Finland when the Korean manufacturer’s latest homologation changes are introduced.
As a new team competing in the WRC, Hyundai is permitted to use eight homologation ‘jokers’ during its first season to improve the performance of its i20 WRC. Three improvements are allowed on the engine and five changes can be made to the chassis.
Team principal Michel Nandan told WRC.com that some improvements had been presented to the FIA and he expected them to be approved on 1 July. That means they should feature on the i20 WRC for the first time at Rally Finland (31 July-3 August).
“Our current jokers are mainly work on the body and durability of the car,” Nandan confirmed. “We have made a big change to the front of the car concerning the wheel arches. All of the front, supporting the radiator, has been modified and strengthened.
“On the engine side, we have presented an evolution of the cylinder block. This is mainly for durability but we are also hoping for more performance with mapping.”
Hyundai is also working on a second raft of improvements that it hopes to present to the FIA in October. It plans to introduce an all-new WR Car for the 2015 season.
“We are still working on the next homologation station,” Nandan said. “We are working further on the engine but we have to finish our tests before it is implemented.”
The i20 WRC homologation evolutions are an exciting development for Hyundai because they have the potential to further improve a car that filled the top two places on the leaderboard during the first day of competition at Rally Italia Sardegna and has shown impressive glimpses of speed at other events.
Nandan said: “All of the team is pleased with all that has been done in year one. It’s been an incredible effort and we are happy so far. But we have to continue to improve.”