First serious test completed; team building up for 2014 season

The Hyundai World Rally Championship team has begun testing in earnest ahead of its return to top-line rallying in 2014.

The Hyundai i20 WRC ran for more than 550km over three days, with the manufacturer claiming the test was trouble-free. It said the main focus of the test was the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. Previously, the team has only run a development car designed and built in Korea by Hyundai's R&D centre, as opposed to the latest version, which has been developed at the team's bespoke motorsport technical centre in Germany.

The data from the test will now be evaluated at the team's headquarters in Germany, before it ramps up its test efforts. Hyundai says it will test the car on all surfaces used in the WRC ahead of its debut, which it says will be next year's season-opening Monte Carlo Rally. Speculation had linked the team to an early debut on this year's Wales Rally GB, in order to evaluate its competitiveness against the opposition.

No details of the driver during the test were released. Team boss Michel Nandan, former world championship-winning technical boss with Peugeot, said the team would not disclose where or when it will test, or the names of the drivers it will use this week. This suggests the team will use a variety of specialists according to the surface on which they are testing.

Our Verdict

Hyundai’s i20 is all about quality and value rather than desirability, although a nip and tuck in 2012 has helped

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