(WRC.com release, 22/12/2012) HYUNDAI’S return to the FIA World Rally Championship will take another step forward when the firm’s motorsport division opens a new base in Germany early next year.
The South Korean manufacturer announced in September that it would be making a WRC comeback with a World Rally Car based on its i20 model.
Hyundai Motorsport has now confirmed it will open a new base in Frankfurt early into the New Year, while the identity of its team principal will also become known next month.
The i20 WRC ran in Europe for the first time at a test track in the German city last week, when it was shown to a selected group of journalists.
Company spokesman Stefan Henrich told the journalists the timescale was short for the new car, but it fell entirely within a workable timeframe for a company of Hyundai’s ability.
“Hyundai is very different from other manufacturers; not better, not worse, just different,” Henrich said.
“The development speed in Hyundai is very good. In an established company, you have the project and that project needs a process, to build, to prove to back-up, to get here.
“That’s not out way. Our way is: that’s the job? Then tomorrow morning we are done. This is what we will apply to getting the i20 WRC ready.
“Things are moving quickly now, we have agreed a contract with the team principal and we are in the process of moving everything over to the new factory in Frankfurt, this is very exciting time for Hyundai.”
Autosport magazine reported the next major developments in Hyundai’s first WRC effort since 2003 will be announced at the Geneva motor show in March.