Wheels24

Hyundai readies WRC i20

2012-09-27 10:53

PARIS, France - Hyundai is poised to return to the World Rally championship with a motorsport-tuned version of its new i20 parked on its display at the 2012 Paris auto show.

The brand withdrew from motorsport in 2003 but its long-term goal was to set up an in-house WRC team in Europe and develop a performance rally car; the result is the WRC i20’s debut in Paris.

'PERFECT FOR BRAND'

Mark Hall, Hyundai Europe's marketing director, commented: “The World Rally Championship is recognised as one of the most dramatic sporting series on Earth. It’s a spectacle filled with excitement and dynamism - the perfect embodiment of the Hyundai brand.

“The WRC also offers the most technologically diverse challenge for an automotive manufacturer. Our participation will demonstrate Hyundai’s engineering excellence and durability and also help to enhance our cars in future.”

Under the latest WRC regulations, entrants must be derived from 1.6 production cars, though in reality few automakers use mainstream parts beyond the base engine and some body panels.

The Korean automaker's involvement in the sport began in 1998 when it competed in the F2 class of the WRC for two seasons. In 1999 the team announced it had entered the top class for 2000, rallying a fully-developed WRC car based on the three-door Accent, which competed until 2003.