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2014 Hyundai i20 WRC by Hyundai Shell World Rally Team


It may have taken longer than a lot of people would have liked, but that’s the price you pay if you’re a company that’s looking to break ground in a racing series it hasn’t entered since 2003..

After a year of testing and development, Hyundai has finally pulled the covers off of the i20 World Rally Championship racecar. And if we do say so ourselves, it looks positively glorious.

The unveiling happened at a recent event in Frankfurt when the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team officially announced that it had finally wrapped up the project in time for next season’s WRC season. Lead driver, Thierry Neuville, was given the honor of presenting the car with teammate Juho Hänninen serving as the driver of the second vehicle.

Earlier this year, Hyundai presented an updated version of the racecar at the Geneva Motor Show yet it was clear that the show car at the event was still a long ways away from being completed. This one, though, is the final product, and it comes complete with all the cursory aerodynamic modifications set to rally specifications, not to mention a cavalcade of graphics and liveries that show all of the team’s partners for next year’s WRC season.

Updates to the chassis and suspension were of importance for the team, seeing as it will be tackling a racing series that will feature its share of bumpy roads. There’s also a new rear wing, a front spoiler, and an interior that’s been redesigned specifically for rally purposes.

Based on our estimates, the 2014 Hyundai i20 WRC racecar is likely to receive a 1.6-liter, in-line-four engine that produces close to 300 horsepower, which should be good enough to hit 60 mph in five to six seconds to go with a top speed of about 160 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the previous incarnation of the Hyundai i20 WRC, the one that we saw at Geneva last March

2014 Hyundai i20 WRC

Hyundai i20 WRC

Hyundai is returning to the World Rally Championship next season after an 11-year absence and it’s decided to field a rally-spec race car that can definitely hold its own against the competition.

The company’s announcement last year cleared the way for the development of the i20 WRC racer and at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Hyundai introduced the rally car for the first time. It still didn’t have a lot of the components it does now, but after more time spent on the tech block, the car, along with the company’s official WRC team, finally received their long overdue time in the spotlight.

Whether or not the car translates to wins in the WRC for Hyundai is another matter entirely. But for what it’s worth, the Korean brand is doing all it can to make the i20 WRC a real player in the coming rally season.

Press Release

 Hyundai i20 WRC by Hyundai Shell World Rally Team

December 10, 2013 - Hyundai Motorsport has unveiled its full team line-up at a special launch event in Frankfurt today, as the manufacturer gears up for its debut in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship at Monte Carlo next month.

Hyundai Motorsport has set realistic targets for its debut season with the primary objective of finishing each rally event with two cars. The young team will approach each rally with the goal of accumulating vital knowledge and data in order to strengthen its foundations for subsequent years. Going up against vastly more experienced WRC competitors, the team knows that it has a steep learning curve, but it certainly relishes the challenge and will be aiming to compete for podium places during the season.

“We have worked tremendously hard to get where we are today and to be able to launch our new WRC team to the world,” explains Team Principal of Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, Michel Nandan. “In less than one year, we have built and tested a brand new WRC-specification car, the Hyundai i20 WRC, and established a professional team and modern motorsport facility. It’s a huge accomplishment but we know that we have a lot to learn in our first season. Our aims for 2014 are realistic: we want to finish each rally with both cars and build up a database of information and experience so we can develop ourselves into prospective rally winners in the future. If all goes well, we will hope to be competing for occasional podiums as the year progresses.”

The launch event was held at the home of Hyundai Motor Europe in Offenbach, just a short drive from Hyundai Motorsport’s facility in Alzenau, where final preparations are taking place for the team’s rally debut in just over one month. Over 150 journalists and guests attended the event to see the newly liveried Hyundai i20 WRC and team on display.

The complete line-up for 2014 includes a new title partner, Shell, which will see the team named Hyundai Shell World Rally Team. The multi-year partnership will see Shell Helix-Ultra logos adorn the Hyundai i20 WRC at all WRC events.
“Shell is delighted to be returning to the WRC in 2014 with Hyundai,” said Colin Abraham, Shell Vice President Marketing (Fuels and Lubricants). “Shell and Hyundai have worked closely together to deliver a high quality product to customers around the world for more than eight years. We bring a genuine understanding of each other’s strengths to this exciting new team as the Hyundai i20 WRC prepares for its first competitive season.”

Thierry Neuville made his first public appearance in Hyundai Motorsport colours as the team’s lead driver, while Juho Hänninen, who will drive the second i20 WRC at selected events, was also present. It was also announced that both Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson will partner Neuville at several events during the season, with Sordo running on Rallye Monte-Carlo and Atkinson confirmed for Rally Australia.

“I am really excited at the prospect of helping Hyundai Motorsport to integrate itself into the tough WRC environment,” said Neuville. “It is an honour to be representing a manufacturer like Hyundai Motor Company but also to have the extra responsibility of leading the team in our first season. I am looking forward to Monte Carlo. I can already feel the professionalism, motivation and passion of this team so although it will be a steep learning curve, I am sure it will be a positive one.”

Hänninen said, “I respect the opportunity that I have been given to join Hyundai Motorsport in its debut WRC season. I was the first to drive the Hyundai i20 WRC back in May so I feel really close to the project and have a great relationship with the team. I am looking forward to competing in Rally Sweden and continuing our learning curve.”

Sordo commented: “I am very happy to be part of this exciting Hyundai WRC project. It might be a young team but there is a high level of experience and professionalism that makes the team a really appealing package. I am looking forward to bringing my years of WRC experience to the team in its debut season and to take part in Rallye Monte-Carlo, the first event.”

“It’s been a pleasure to be part of Hyundai Motorsport in testing this season and to have had the chance to contribute to the development of the i20 WRC,”said Atkinson. “It’s fantastic to be able to carry on with the team into 2014, our first WRC season, and to be able to drive in Rally Australia later in the year.”



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