Next year Hyundai Motorsport is hoping to win stages, rallies, and (hopefully) titles in the WRC with a completely new machine. While the name remains unchanged, the team’s new i20 WRC is now wider, wilder, and faster than the car it’ll replace.
The i20 WRC was developed to meet the new 2017 technical regulations that allows for more power, more downforce, and more tech. This is the FIA’s way to make the WRC more ‘spectacular’ as if it’s not already is.
More specifically, power output has been bumped up to 380 hp from the previous year’s 300 hp. Rule changes also allow for more aerodynamic freedom and wider cars thus explaining the i20 WRC’s huge aero bits, though hidden under the prototype’s livery. The last main upgrade on the list is the electronic active center diff.
Though not exactly an upgrade, Hyundai’s new 2017-spec rally car is based on the 3-door i20 as opposed to the 5-door version they’re using today. And the only reason why their current WRC car has 2 extra doors is that the 3-door never made it in time for homologation.
“The 2017 car started testing in April with initial work centered on engine and powertrain testing. More recently, we have looked at suspension, differential and aero. There will be some small evolutions on both chassis and engine later this year. We look forward to revealing the final version of our 2017 car later this year,” said Team Principal Michel Nandan.
As it stands, Hyundai Motorsport is currently 2nd in the WRC Manufacturer’s classification, trailing Volkswagen by a mere 66 points with 2 events still to go. If you ask us, closing the gap to the dominant German giant is already a feat in itself. Hopefully, the new i20 WRC can get even closer in 2017.