Hyundai has taken a big step forward to its return to the world rally stage. The Hyundai i20 WRC has successfully completed its first shakedown session without hitting any trouble and is well under way to make its competitive debut at the start of the 2014 rallying season.

Taken out of the development workshop on to the roads for the first time, the Hyundai i20 WRC covered a total of 550 km to build a knowledge database for its 1.6 litre turbocharged engine as well as different set-up solutions. It’s a positive start to the extensive development programme the team has planned.

The WRC car was originally designed in Namyang, Korea before the newly appointed Hyundai Motorsport technical team took the development project over to its new specialised facility in Alzenau, Germany. Testing is set to continue over various terrains that the car will encounter over the course of a WRC season.

The 2014 FIA World Rally Championship starts with Rallye Monte Carlo in January, but rumours suggest that Hyundai Motorsport will enter at least one WRC event this year, most likely the Wales Rally GB in November to evaluate the new car’s competitiveness against its eventual rivals. Can it beat the dominating combination of Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen?