Although Hyundai has only been in the World Rally Championship with the i20 since last year, there’s already a new version on the way. It just might be a little later than planned.
It did seem somewhat strange that Hyundai would introduce a rally version of a car already nearing the end of its production lifespan. However, it’s safe to bet that Hyundai Motorsport intended to use the old i20 as a development car for the new version. Such development is taking a little longer than expected though – the team had wanted to debut the new car this year, but Monte Carlo 2016 now seems the likely date.
But we do have initial pictures of the new i20 WRC car and, interestingly, they’ve gone for the five-door version. Although not quite as sexy as the three-door ‘coupé’ version, we imagine the five-door must have higher torsional rigidity. Or rally drivers just prefer the extra practicality for their shopping. Who knows.
Perhaps 2016 will be the year Hyundai can start to challenge Volkswagen and the all-conquering Polo. It’ll also face competition from the Toyota Yaris, although that won’t arrive until 2017. But, for now, here’s a photo of the ‘old’ i20 getting some serious air at Rally Mexico last month.