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by David Zalstein

The next-generation five-door Hyundai i20 set to tackle the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season has been previewed at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show.

Based on the all-new second-generation Hyundai i20 (a car so far not bound for our market) and said to highlight the South Korean brand’s “passion for performance and engineering competency”, the new i20 WRC car promises improved weight distribution, better powertrain efficiency and enhanced aerodynamics.

Hyundai says the new competition-spec car – a vehicle originally planned for a mid-2015 debut – is currently undergoing testing, engineering and development work ahead of the opening round of the 2016 WRC season in Monte Carlo.


Clearly stamped with Hyundai’s ‘N’ performance branding, the 2016 preview car sports a wide ‘mouth’, bonnet vents, aggressively flared wheel arches, a roof scoop and a not insignificant rear wing.

The five-door body style is a change from the current three-door i20 WRC car, which just completed last weekend’s Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour, NSW, with a best-place finish of fifth thanks to New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon.

According to Hyundai, “The New Generation i20 WRC will demonstrate Hyundai Motor’s ability to enhance its high-performance DNA, and will continue to compete in motorsports as Hyundai N builds towards producing a full road-going line-up of cars.”

This week’s 2015 Frankfurt motor show – on until September 27 – has also seen the unveiling of the 650kW video game-inspired Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo concept.