RACE READY: Hyundai's i20 R5 is undergoing testing and will be ready to sell to customer teams. Image: Quickpic
Cape Town - After competing successfully in the World Rally Championship (WRC) for the last couple of years, Hyundai is putting the final touches on a project that will see the Korean manufacturer supply rally cars to customer teams.
The Hyundai i20 R5 rally car is undergoing rigorous testing, having gone through numerous development phases in the early parts of the year, claims the automaker. The R5 also recently completed its first run on tarmac in March in the south of France, and initial indications of this four-day test left the Hyundai team feeling positive.
The test, says Hyundai, provided the automaker with much needed insight into how their car operates and it allowed for evaluation of numerous aspects under different conditions. These included how the new cooling system performs behind the newly designed bumper and bonnet, and also how the improved 1.6-litre turbo engine operates with the mandatory five-speed gearbox.
The first two days of the recent four-day test were spent on gravel. This was done to assess the progress made on the chassis and suspension throughout the i20 R5’s development, says Hyundai. It also provided the team with the chance to convert the car from gravel to tarmac specification – an important aspect of any rally.
The final two days was run on tarmac with different suspension settings and larger brakes, as prescribed by the R5 class regulations for rallies on sealed surfaces.
It all seems to be paying off for Hyundai Motorsport’s Customer Project, as a privately run Italian team purchased two Hyundai i20 R5’s, claims the automaker. The growing success and reputation of this car is garnering interest from customers across Europe, Asia and Australasia.
Hyundai Motorsport customer project senior sales associate, Andrew Johnson, said: “We are really pleased to have such a high level of interest in the New Generation i20 R5 programme at this stage.
"To have confirmed orders is a reward to the entire Customer Project for the work already completed and a boost as the testing schedule fills up between now and homologation in the summer.
Testing of the Hyundai i20 R5 customer car will continue in various locations around the world that are representative of the conditions teams will face in rallying.