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.