Hyundai Testing The 2016 i20 WRC Car, To Be Launched In Monte Carlo
Hyundai are still newcomers to the World Rally Championship, having joined the fray in 2014, but they are quickly developing a reputation of being among the most ambitious.
Hyundai Motorsports have in fact just completed a 4-day testing stage in Spain, where their 2016 i20 WRC car received a few changes that will very much improve the development of the engine and chassis.
Test driver Kevin Abbring was behind the wheel, with co-driver Sebastian Maxwell also along for the ride.
WRC drivers Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul were also on hand to give their input into the performance of the car.
Even with the changes made to the 2016 model, it’s still fair to say that Hyundai have a lot of work to do before they are able to mount a serious title challenge.
Taking the i20 WRC to the next level
The only way that they could really find out of their efforts paid dividends was to put the WRC vehicle through its paces, hence the testing in Spain.
Team Principal Michel Nandan spoke about the changes made to the vehicle and the need for extensive testing.
Hyundai chose the Almeria region of Spain for the tests, so that they could put the car through testing at altitude, whilst also seeing if the chassis and engine performed to the level that would help the new i20 WRC be a player in the racing circuit.
2016 Monte Carlo rally launch
The initial goal of Hyundai Motorsport was to introduce the new version of the vehicle later in the year, but an adjustment to the homologation schedule has now made that highly unlikely.
They will now turn their attention to the 5-door version of the WRC car and put off the launch until 2016, with the WRC Rallye Monte Carlo now slated to be the race where the car gets formally introduced into the racing world.
As much as Hyundai wants to make a real positive impact in the racing world, they are prepared to play a waiting game until they believe that their latest model can actually deliver the goods.
They will still try to get as many podium finishes as they can this season, but watch for them making a real push in 2016 when the new model is fully tested and ready to go.