Multiple world rally championship winning technical director Michel Nandan to head up Hyundai's renewed assault on the sport
Jim Holder
11 January 2013

Hyundai has appointed multiple World Rally Championship winning technical director Michel Nandan to spearhead its assault on the sport.

Most famously, Nandan headed the engineering team at Peugeot from 1999-2005, during which time it won three manufacturers' world championships. Subsequently he headed up Suzuki's ill-fated and brief foray into the highest level of the sport with its SX4-based rally car.

Hyundai will enter the WRC on one event this year, before launching a full assault on the championship in 2014. A version of its Hyundai i20 WRC car has already been developed in Korea and been tested in Europe. Henceforth, however, the team will be based in Germany, and run under a new company subsidiary, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH.

"We are deliberately using an interim version of the i20 to carry out important component testing and to  ensure that we have done our homework before we enter competition," said Nandan. "This will continue throughout 2013."

Nandan said that a decision on drivers for the team would be made during this year.

"Hyundai is back in the WRC not just to compete, but to win," said Tak Uk Im, executive vice president and COO of Hyundai Motor. "Our experience will translate directly into performance and handling improvements in our road-going vehicles."

Hyundai previously competed in the WRC with limited success from 2000-2003, and withdrew from the sport under a cloud when it was fined heavily by its governing body for not completing its final season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Verdict

Hyundai i20

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

Join the debate

Comments
4

11 January 2013

"Hyundai previously competed in the WRC with limited success from 200-2003, and withdrew from the sport under a cloud when it was fined heavily by its governing body for not completing its final season."

A bit harsh to fine a team that was rallying for over 1800 years.

WRC needs better coverage, it has fallen since it's heyday of the mid 90s, when it made household names of McRae, Makinnen, Sainz etc. and blue collar heroes of the Impreza and Lancer.

11 January 2013

sirwiggum wrote:

A bit harsh to fine a team that was rallying for over 1800 years.

*giggle*

I'd have thought Hyundai would be better suited to tackling WTCC (or have Kia doing WRC), but hopefully their involvement will provide a much-needed boost to the series. Not sure where they'll get their drivers from though. Petter Solberg maybe?

11 January 2013

Support the Hyundai contractors - boycott Hyundai.

11 January 2013

i thought sport was used to increase brand awareness. Yet Hyundai dont make one thing for Europe remotely sporty so i fail to see how the brand will benefit from this. Seems entirely pointless until they decide to market a car with any 'go' and handling finess about it

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK