Hyundai Gears Up for WRC Return


Korea means business with its new rally-spec hatchback. Citroen, Mini, Ford and Volkswagen had better watch out.

When Hyundai revealed the new i20 rally car at the Paris Motor Show, it wasn't just a car it was unveiling. It represented a fundamental shift in its motor racing program that will bring the Korean automaker back into the World Rally Championship after a decade-long absence. Joining rally-spec versions of the Ford Fiesta, Citroen DS3, Mini Countryman and Volkswagen Polo in the top-tier rally series, the new i20 WRC will, of course, be subject to the latest regulations set down by the FIA.

That means a 1.6-liter turbocharged four driving around 300 horsepower to all four wheels through a sequential gearbox. Although Hyundai has yet to reveal official specifications, it did release this awesome video clip (and more photos) showing the new car doing what it's designed to do across a variety of terrain and vanishing Hollywood-style in between.

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Unfortunately the shift to the WRC also means that Hyundai is essentially shuttering its North American motorsport division. With it will come the end of a four-year partnership with Rhys Millen that saw rally-spec Velosters skidding through Formula Drift, the Global RallyCross championship and Pikes Peak. A certain saying about making omelets and breaking eggs comes to mind.