There’s a new Hyundai i20 in the showrooms, so a renewal must happen on gravel too, where Hyundai is campaigning its i20 WRC for the second FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season after coming back to the sport in 2014.

The Hyundai Motorsport team recently completed a four-day test of the new generation five-door i20 WRC car in the Spanish region of Almeria. The test marked the next important phase of development for the car, which will make its debut next year.

The team’s test driver Kevin Abbring and co-driver Sebastian Marshall were at the wheel of the new i20 WRC together with Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul. Work focused on engine and chassis development, as well as altitude testing with the latest iteration of the car, which has been upgraded compared to the version used in previous tests.


Hyundai had hoped to introduce the car later this season, but a change on the planned homologation due to production schedule means that the target has shifted to 2016’s season opening Rallye Monte Carlo. A series of upgrades will be introduced to the current car in the remaining rallies of 2015 in a bid to help the team fight for podiums regularly.

“We had hoped to introduce the new car later this season but unfortunately an issue with the homologation schedule – related to production of the three-door road version – will delay our programme. We have therefore opted to continue focus on the five-door version of the new generation i20 WRC which will compete at Monte Carlo next year,” said team principal Michel Nandan.

Things are going pretty well for Hyundai this season. After three rallies in 2015 (Monte Carlo, Sweden, Mexico), the Korean brand is second in the manufacturers’ standings behind defending champs VW, while Neuville, who finished second in Sweden, is third in the drivers’ race behind VW duo Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen.

GALLERY: Current road-going Hyundai i20, Euro-spec