While Kia has chosen to build and sell actual sporty versions (the Cee'd and Pro_Cee'd GT) of their regular road-going cars, in order to boost the sporting credentials of their brand, sister-brand Hyundai has chosen a slightly different approach in order to achieve the same basic goal – participation in the World Rally Championship.
Their i20 WRC is being worked on and incrementally-improved in preparation for the car's official debut onto the world rally stage, which is set to take place next year.
First revealed at the Paris Motor Show, last year, the i20 WRC has since received several upgrades, and while it's not really finished, it really looks the part with the latest body upgrades and a revised livery, which combines Hyundai's trademark light-blue color with traditional Korean script.
Aside from the cosmetic and aerodynamic alterations, the car has also had its suspension setup retuned, under the supervision Michel Nandan – a WRC veteran. He now heads the newly-created Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, which operates out of Alenzau, Germany and has developed the car along with Hyundai's own research and development team, based in Namyan, Korea.
No technical specifications have been released, but it will most likely be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, with just under 300 hp, powering all four wheels. Private test sessions will be arranged at various locations around Europe later in the year and more details will be provided along the way.
By Andrei Nedelea