Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing has unveiled the i20 N Rally2, an all-new rally car intended for privateer teams and drivers.
The brand new car follows on from the Hyundai i20 R5 with which Hyundai Motorsport entered the Customer Racing arena at the end of 2015. The i20 N Rally2 builds on the experience gained by the department over the last five years to deliver an improved all-round package.
The car is based on strong foundation of the all-new road-going i20 N’s chassis. The i20 N brings the high-performance of the N Brand to the i20 range for the first time to create a hatchback with race track capability and motorsport-derived performance. The i20 N Rally2 builds on the dynamic look of the road car – part of Hyundai’s new ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ identity – which includes several elements inspired by the world of motorsport.
Though the five-speed sequential gearbox from the i20 R5 remains the transmission for the new design nearly every other part, including the 1.6litre turbocharged engine, of the i20 N Rally2 is brand new – the result of a design process begun in January 2020. The work has been completed by a specialized group of designers and engineers, taking into account the five years of experience with the i20 R5 project. In doing so they have been able to take advantage of the fantastic growth of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing since the initial launch of the i20 R5, during which time the department has grown from a handful of people to a team of 60.
This growth has been reflected in the development of the i20 R5. Constant work by development engineers has provided several updates to the original car through recent seasons, resulting in improved handling and performance. The introduction of the i20 N Rally2 carries over these enhancements, while the switch to a brand new chassis allows a further large step forward in nearly every aspect of the design of the car.
New suspension components and dampers give the car more driver-friendly handling characteristics on all surfaces. This is vital in the Rally2 category, which forms the basis for numerous national and regional championships as well as the international WRC 2 and WRC 3 classes, and are the cars of choice for both professional rally drivers as well as drivers who compete purely for pleasure.
The new car will aim to continue the success of the i20 R5, which has claimed numerous titles with customers, including national titles in Spain, Portugal and Poland since debuting late in 2016. Teams with the i20 R5 will continue to enjoy the same high level of support, uninterrupted by the development of the new car.
An extensive testing program for the i20 N Rally2 will begin later this month, with the first deliveries to customers and final homologation scheduled for summer 2021.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “The Hyundai i20 R5 was the first car from Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, and the new i20 N Rally2 shows how far we have come in the five years since the foundation of the department. Every area of the new car is an improvement over the original thanks to the design work completed by our dedicated team of designers and engineers. Our focus is now on testing the car to further develop each aspect of the design to improve both performance and reliability, while also ensuring that the handling enables each and every one of our customers to achieve the best possible results when they can start competing with the i20 N Rally2 next year.”