HYUNDAI Motorsport has revealed its all-new i20 car for the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship and ambitious plans to take the fight to rival manufacturers.
The wraps came off the car, known as the New Generation i20 WRC, at a launch at the team’s factory in Alzenau, Germany, on Wednesday.
The product of a year-long development programme and 8000km of testing, it will make its competitive debut at the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo on 22-25 January.
The team says the car has proven to be quicker than its predecessor, with drivers Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon also praising improved drivability.
And as Hyundai prepares for its third season in the WRC, team principal Michel Nandan emphasised that he expected a similar performance hike across the board.
In 2015 the team scored four podium finishes and narrowly missed out to Citroën on second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Next year Nandan wants his drivers to be able to fight at the front in every stage and to mount a stronger championship assault.
“We have come a long way since our inaugural foundation year, and our performance in last season’s Championship gave us renewed optimism for the future,” Nandan said.
“The New Generation i20 WRC is the product of a full year of development and with a more experienced team of staff, we should now raise our objectives to be more confident to fight at the front.”
“The competition remains strong and we know our manufacturer rivals will not ease in their pursuit for victory but we want to take the fight to them in 2016.”