Hyundai's new i20 rally car is all new, all awesome
This is Hyundai's third rally car since it entered the WRC in 2014.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
This new rally racer, based on the i20 hatchback (otherwise known as the Elantra GT in the US), will be Hyundai's third car in the FIA World Rally Championship series. Hyundai joined this league in 2014, hoping to expand its horizons in the world of motorsport. In 2017, Hyundai's three cars will run under the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team banner.
While there is an i20 beneath this ridiculous exterior, it's hard to find. That's because rally cars are a menagerie of aerodynamic bolt-ons and, well, more aerodynamic bolt-ons. The diffusers are huge, the front canards look like they could slice a block of limestone and the wing is large enough to look pretty silly.
Under the hood is a 380-horsepower engine, which is 80 more horsepower than in 2016. Changing FIA regulations dropped the curb weight between 2016 and 2017, as well, so this thing is going to be delightfully quick as it careens over crests and drifts through small European hamlets.
The car may be all new, but the drivers aren't. All three drivers for 2017 are the same as last year -- Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo will contest each round of the WRC in the team's three cars. If the rally championship were won on looks alone, Hyundai would be off to a very early start. And without Volkswagen participating in 2017, it may actually have a chance to win some races.
Hyundai prepares its third rally car for the World Rally Championship