Hyundai Motorsport GmbH has unveiled its newest version of the i20 WRC car at the Geneva Motor Show. This is a major step towards its upcoming involvement in the FIA World Rally Championship. To be ready for Hyundai’s debut season at the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship, it has planned a year of private tests and development.
It is working to have a WRC-specification of its i20 model that’s ready to enter the race. Last September, the first iteration of this model debuted at the Paris Motor Show. However, the newest model has been given significant improvements to its exterior bodywork and suspension.
These improvements are made possible by the partnership between Hyundai’s R&D facility in Namyang, Korea and the recently created Hyundai Motorsport GmbH in Alzenau, Germany, with long-time WRC man Michel Nandan as its leader. In addition, the new specification Hyundai i20 WRC has been given a striking appearance due to its restyle livery that combines an energetic treatment of Hyundai’s corporate blue as well as the novel use of characters from Hunminjeongeum, which is the native Korean script.
The livery combines the WRC’s dynamism and enthusiasm with the brand’s Korean heritage. Team Principal Michel Nandan was only appointed two months ago but already, he has turned the focus on creating the core Hyundai WRC team at the bespoke facility in Alzenau with vital technical, logistics and motorsport specialists becoming part of the new manufacturer team. Pretty soon, the team will kick off a more intense test program with the i20 WRC to hasten the car’s development ahead of its first season.
As redesigned at the carmaker’s European headquarters in Germany, Hyundai penned the styling of the new i20 employing its signature design language of “fluidic sculpture.”
As proof of this, the front end of the new Hyundai i20 is now defined by a new hexagonal-shaped grille, which is a design element typical of new Hyundai models. This grille is flanked by new headlights, as complemented by an updated front bumper with incorporated fog lights. Not only that, the new i20 features an updated bonnet, front wing, and wheel designs. Meanwhile, the rear end of the Hyundai i20 features a more modern appearance, thanks to an updated bumper design with integrated rear parking sensors. Hyundai also installed restyled rear lamps.
Hyundai i20 bound for the United Kingdom – to be built at the carmaker’s assembly site near Chennai, India – could be finished in any six available colors that include Black Diamond, Coral White, Electric Red, Ember Grey and Sleek Silver.
Interestingly, the i20’s redesigned bumpers have allowed the car to become longer – by 30mm at the front and by 25mm at the rear – which means its length now measures 3,995 mm. However, the new Hyundai i20 retains its overall width and height as well as wheelbase.