Hyundai has begun testing the new version of its i20 World Rally Car, but insists it is “not in a rush” to give the car its WRC competition debut.
AUTOSPORT revealed in July that the replacement for Hyundai’s current WRC contender was unlikely to be ready for the start of the 2015 season. The new car – which is based on the “new generation” version of the road-going equivalent – had its first shakedown test with Bryan Bouffier last month.
“It’s always an important moment when you take a car to the road for the first time and this one was no exception,” Team boss Michel Nandan said. “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. 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.”
Hyundai took its first WRC win in Germany in August, when Thierry Neuville led Dani Sordo in a one-two finish.
Nandan added that Hyundai would continue with the present i20 for as long as necessary before bringing in the new car.
“We will introduce it in competition when we are absolutely sure that it is ready to replace the current Hyundai i20 WRC – we’re not in a rush,” he said. “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.”