Summer is (almost) gone, and with it the lovely warm days of sunshine and leisure. Not that any of that matters to anyone at Hyundai Motorsport – reportedly, they gave up on their summer in order to keep the development and testing of the i20 WRC going at the desired pace. Even though summer is still officially here, there are only four months to the start of the next WRC season. Only four months. May sound long to you and me, but it’s really not that much in terms of racing or rally car development and testing. Understandably, Hyundai is picking up the pace and the i20 WRC is roaring eagerly in different location across the Europe, adding more and more testing kilometers under its belt.
Not long ago, Hyundai ran its first tarmac test and very soon after that they switched to the gravel and visited Finland. If you were paying close attention, you noticed how different current Hyundai i20 WRC is to the first cars that were displayed on various motor shows. Even now, when car is in full testing mode, there are changes from one test session to the other. For Finnish test, Hyundai decided to wrap the i20 WRC in camouflage decals. Whether it was to “hide” certain elements of the car, or just to mark another step in the development, I cannot say. It is obvious that they’re still testing the airflow around the front grille, potentially altering the positioning of the cooling devices in the engine bay. In Finland, one part of the grille was blocked shut. Also different to tarmac spec car is the design of the rear wheel arches – they no longer reach all the way down to the side sills.
Since Hyundai is expected to unveil new i20 at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September, I suppose WRC car will also be “converted” to the new looks. If we consider that new 2014 i20 will surely be different to the current model, it is likely that WRC team is also testing these design changes and their effect on the performance of the car.
But all that is not as exciting as seeing Juho Hanninen tear through the Finnish countryside, flying over crests and sliding around the fast sweeping corners. If i20 WRC did not look as serious to you until now, this could change your mind. Nobody knows what Hyundai will be capable of next year, but I am totally convinced they’re dedicated to this project and they aim to deliver. Enjoy the videos.