Hyundai Motorsport is gaining a(l)titude

Well if it isn’t our (not so) old friend, the i20 WRC in his charming camo uniform. In rallying, camo uniforms mean business, nobody wants to see white cars, they look like they’re surrendering and revealing their cards even before being asked to do so. Instead, a nice combination of swirly whirly shapes and lines are added, to confuse the enemy and intimidate the oposition. And also to trick the eyes of the public. Maybe, perhaps, also to hide a thing or two.

So yeah, camo and all. Who cares, right? It can be pink with a bright blue unicorn on the hood for all we care. How fast, reliable, durable and dare I say fast it is, that’s what we want to know. But the thing is, we don’t. Even Hyundai doesn’t know, nobody does. Only next year, in January, we will get the more precise answers to these burning questions. Until then, some will admire the developing and obviously faster and faster car and some will still claim that it looks like a toy. It’s not so much that it looks like one, I think, it’s more that it feels like a toy and it will feel like that until the very first special stage of 2014 Rallye Monte Carlo.

This fantastic intro was inspired by the collection of news and images Hyundai released today, featuring their latest test sessions in France (tarmac) and Spain (gravel). In France Hyundai was able to test the car in rain and on wet tarmac and in Spain they reached new heights, literally. In order to simulate the conditions of high-altitude Rally Mexico, Hyundai climbed to higher grounds to test the performance of i20 WRC in the specific conditions. Read on to see what they found out.

Another Hyundai Motorsport Monday done and dusted. Can we expect more news come next Monday?

Oh by the way, looks like i20 WRC is turning black, or am I just imagining things?

Hyundai Motorsport takes the i20 WRC to altitude

After a busy summer of intensive testing, the development of the Hyundai i20 WRC continued in the second half of September as the Hyundai Motorsport team returned the car to tarmac on a three day test session in France followed by a week of testing on gravel at high-altitude in the South of Spain.

“For the last couple of months we’ve tested every two weeks on all kinds of conditions and surfaces to continue the collection of valuable feedback and data. After the Finland test it was very important for us to take a short break back at the factory in order to review and evaluate the work done so far as the schedule will be even busier from now on’” observed Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan.

The Hyundai Motorsport team travelled from Germany to France in mid-September then to the South of Spain last week to test the car at altitude with both Bryan Bouffier and Juho Hänninen behind-the-wheel of a brand new i20 WRC. “This car is the same specification of the one we used in Finland in August but it features a couple of new elements. Also we have tested at altitude conditions” said Nandan.

“Altitude is one of the challenges we’ll have to overcome next year in the FIA World Rally Championship especially in Mexico where the stages go up to 2500 meters. The performance of the car can be affected under these conditions so the aim on this test was to study the engine behaviour and monitor the impact on the engine power. We also took the opportunity to keep on working on gravel set-up solutions and do some good mileage with the car” explained Nandan.

Hyundai Motorsport’s test programme will continue unabated over the next months as the challenge in next year’s WRC begins in just over 100 days.