A rally-ready Hyundai i20 WRC car revealed at the 2012 Paris motor show has confirmed the Korean manufacturer’s intent to return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) following its withdrawal from motorsport in 2003.
The Hyundai i20 WRC is the result of a long-term ambition of the brand to set up an in-house WRC team based in Europe and develop a rally car to compete in the top-level rally series.
While a 74kW/136Nm 1.4-litre engine powers the standard front-wheel drive Hyundai i20, current World Rally cars are based on turbocharged 1.6-litre units powering all four wheels via sequential transmissions.
Hyundai Motor Europe marketing director Mark Hall said, “The WRC also offers the most technologically-diverse challenge for an automotive manufacturer. Our participation will demonstrate Hyundai’s engineering excellence and durability, and will also help to enhance our passenger vehicles in future.”
Hyundai began its involvement in the WRC in 1998, competing for two seasons in the F2 class before making the step up to the top class in the year 2000 with a car based on the three-door Hyundai Accent.
The Hyundai i20 is available in Australia from $15,590 to $19,590 and comes in three- and five-door body styles.