Hyundai Motorsport has had to delay introduction of its new WRC challenger until 2016.
Based on the ‘next-generation’ Hyundai i20 five-door road car, the significantly upgraded rally machine, which has been testing since last October, was originally destined to debut at Rally Finland 2015.
Hyundai cites road car homologation issues as the key stumbling block for the new i20 WRC, though it will continue being developed throughout 2015 with test driver Kevin Abbring logging regular duty.
Meanwhile the team will persist with the existing World Rally Car on the stages. It too has seen significant development during the early-season break. For Rally Argentina, commencing today, both Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo (now fully recovered from an off-stage injury) will have a hydraulically-operated paddle shift available for the first time.
This system augments the significant engine upgrade the i20 received for Rally Mexico, where the team introduced new parts to the fuel injection system.
Backing up the two nominated manufacturer drivers is exciting Kiwi Hayden Paddon, who will drive a non-paddle car.