Hyundai Motorsport will compete in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a New Generation i20 WRC car. This marks the start of a new chapter in the short history of Hyundai Motorsport, building on two successful seasons in the competitive WRC environment. In that time, the team has undertaken a steep learning curve to establish itself as a genuine competitor against tough opposition.
Following its foundation-laying year in 2013, the team quickly developed a brand new WRC car from scratch for its first season of competition in 2014. The car proved to be both quick and reliable, securing a maiden win in Germany on Aug. 2014. From there, the team enjoyed a more consistent second season, scoring four podium finishes and fighting for second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship right up to the season finale.
In early 2015, the team committed to a year-long test and development program for a WRC specification of the road-going New Generation i20, with its competitive debut set for Monte-Carlo 2016. The New Generation i20 has already accumulated 8,000 kms of testing prior to today’s launch, and has proven to be quicker than its predecessor, with the team’s drivers also praising improved drivability.
The new car is the result of the Hyundai Motorsport’s evolution since 2013 and although the team is still young, it is far more established in the WRC community. This growth is also reflected in the team’s bolder ambitions for the 2016 season, namely to fight at the front in every stage and to mount a heightened Championship assault.
Hyundai Motorsport will field three cars in every round of the 2016 Championship. From Monte-Carlo in January to a new-look season finale in Australia, while also taking in a brand new event in China, the trio of drivers will share the #3, #4 and #20 cars during the season. The precise car-driver composition will differ from event to event, offering the team full flexibility in its Championship strategy.
The team will begin its third season with two New Generation i20 WRCs and one previous model at Rallye Monte-Carlo before increasing to three identical cars from Rally Sweden.
The team’s title partners – Shell and Mobis – both stand out on the new car, and will continue to be named as part of the two team entries – Hyundai Shell World Rally Team and Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team – with the livery of the latter due to be revealed in early 2016.