Hyundai's new rally chief Michel Nandan also spearheaded Peugeot's WRC assault
Hyundai has already developed an interim test car in Korea
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.