Hyundai launches i20 WRC for 2017

Article by Christian A., on December 5, 2016

After we’ve seen the disguised prototypes several weeks ago, Hyundai at last took the wraps off its new i20 WRC at Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza racing circuit. Hyundai was the first to show off what they have prepared for the approaching World Rally Championship season.

Following WRC’s newly updated regulations, you wouldn’t be expecting the same engine power, handling and aerodynamics like you’ve seen them before. Because of this, nothing could be more exciting than to witness Hyundai’s new i20 Coupe compete in the race.

Michel Nandan, Hyundai Team Principal, considers the new regulations as the most significant change for a while. He thinks that the new technical requirements are a chance for them to apply whatever they had experienced and learned in the past seasons. Furthermore, all teams would be on the same footing since each one of them will practically start from scratch. Thus, it’s probably the most “entertaining” season that we can all look forward to this 2017.

While joining motorsport events isn’t that new for the factory team, Hyundai Motorsport are expecting more for this upcoming event. The previous season has propelled the team to second place during the overall Manufacturers’ Championship. Good thing, this new season will have the same drivers taking part in the rally. Thiery Neuville, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon have once again signed their new contracts, which will last for two more years.

We all know how Neuville has helped Hyundai achieve its place in the last seasons. Since then, the Belgian driver has been rumoured to be moving to another fence. Now it does look like Citroen will have to wait until 2018 for Neuville to change his mind.

Aside from getting ready for its next racing stint, Hyundai has also completed a testing program this year. The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team will have a total of 3 cars for next year’s WRC series. The one currently on display at the Monza event will have to stay there until December 4. Guess we’ll have to watch out for the rest of the cars to be revealed within this month.

The new i20 WRC packs specs such as a 380hp total output, reduced overall weight, better mechanical grip and improved aerodynamics. With the new i20 Coupe WRC on the line, it is of course their desire to do whatever it takes to win the next Championship. As Michel Nandan puts it, the new specifications for 2017 will present “wider” and “more powerful” cars. Let’s see about that.

Press Release

HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT UNVEILS HYUNDAI i20 COUPE WRC FOR THE TEAM’S 2017 WRC SEASON

Hyundai Motorsport will compete in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a brand new challenger, the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. The car, which has been designed to meet WRC’s raft of new technical regulations, was unveiled during an exclusive media event today at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy.

For Hyundai Motorsport, the three-door i20 Coupe WRC represents the team’s third new car since its debut in the Championship back in 2014 – following the Hyundai i20 WRC (2014-15) and the New Generation i20 WRC (2016). Entering its fourth WRC season, the team hopes to build on a positive period of growth in recent years as it embarks on a new era.

The new car regulations for 2017 have been introduced to enhance the overall spectacle of WRC even further than before, with the new car sporting an aggressive new look and evolved technologies. While changes have centered on improving aerodynamic and mechanical grip, there has been an increase in engine power from 300 to 380bhp as well as a reduction in the overall weight of the car.

With the new car, the team hopes to build on its most successful season to date, in which it secured two victories and an additional ten podium finishes. Hyundai Motorsport also second place overall in the Manufacturers Championship in the 2016 season.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We are heading into a new era for the sport with the biggest change to the regulations for some time. It’s a great new technical challenge and one that we have tackled with enthusiasm. It’s an opportunity to put into practice everything we have learned and experienced in the past three seasons. All teams are starting from scratch so we are on equal footing. Having finished in a fighting second in 2016, we want to demonstrate our ability to fight for the Championship next season – and we are confident the i20 Coupe WRC will help us do just that.”

There will be an unchanged driver line-up for 2017, which will offer the team important stability with the introduction of a new car. Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo will contest all rounds of the Championship.

As manufacturers will be able to field up to three cars in each round, Hyundai Motorsport’s three drivers will run under a unified banner in 2017: the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team.

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