Hyundai to present the upgraded i20N Rally from October onwards

The team principal of Hyundai Motorsport, Cyril Abiteboul, reveals that his team will use some jokers to homologate the i20N in two months saying that the car must be improved on the performance, on rear stability and on the weight.

The Alzenau-based team did not have the time to homologate some parts last July after what happened to Esapekka Lappi's i20N in Kenya where propshaft issues stroke him three times that weekend. As Hyundai skipped the July window, this means that it has now two jokers to use for October with the view of creating a more competitive car and to solve the reliability issues. Francois-Xavier Demaison, who is the technical director of Hyundai since last June, is already working hard on developing the i20N and his hard work can be proved by the double podium in Estonia and the second place of Thierry Neuville in Finland. However, the team knows that there is still work to do to close the gap from Toyota as their rival has won seven rallies so far this season whereas Hyundai was victorious only in Sardinia.

"I think it is a fair representation of our package as things stand", Abiteboul said.

"We simply need to be satisfied with the step we have done against ourselves last year. 

"We need more of the steps for the future.

"The figures don’t lie, they are facts. 

"This 0.17s per kilometre is the pace we need to find in the car through a mix of probably a bit of optimisation of what we have, but also our developments which are taking a bit of time.

"We know that we are overweight and we know we are missing a bit of rear stability, which is also downforce, and probably the top speed advantage that we had in the past.

"I am sure that in all the concepts and ideas we have in the factory there is much, much more than 0.17s that we are talking about. 

"It is about finding a way to implement that to the car and hopefully we can do that before 2027.

"Of course we will be using this October window. 

"We have clear plans about the way we want to use those jokers, but frankly it is very limited given the work that we have ahead of us to make the car a bit more reliable too. 

"Let’s not forget the issues we had in Kenya, which are not totally out of the scope.

"We know we need to make the car lighter and we need to make it quicker, so those are the three things we need to do and three jokers to do all of that is very limited.

"It is a huge frustration as we have a factory, we have a design office and production and all of the resources, but we are not able to do what they would like to do because of regulations. 

"It is what it is".


Photo Credits: Hyundai

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