Over the summer Hyundai have continued to develop the car they plan to contest in the 2014 World Rally Championship. They have certainly lined up some top drivers to test the 2014 spec i20 over many miles of tarmac and gravel surfaces with both Bryan Bouffier and Juho Hänninen taking time out from their IRC and Rally Europe campaigns to run the car in WRC conditions.
During the trials changes were applied as you’d expect, including body shape and aerodynamics. Different suspension and differential solutions were put through their paces in an effort to find just the right balance. The i20 has been tested for high speed as well on the jumps and surfaces expected at this level of competition.
With the loss of the full factory squad from Ford and the rather lacklustre performance of Citroen this year now that Loeb has moved on (to WTCC, it seems) it has been left to the new works team from Volkswagen to sweep up the honours so far. DriveWrite is beginning to wonder if in fact Citroen will field a works team at all next year or merely support a big privateer outfit as Ford are doing. Maybe it will be left to the new boys from Hyundai to give the rampant Germans a run for their money in 2014.