A WRC title-winning engine needs to be competitive in all conditions. That is why we design a 100% prototype engine from scratch in order to fulfil the requirements of one of the toughest and most varied global championships.
When we started our WRC journey in 2012, we worked together with trusted outside expertise to help us bring the first Hyundai i20 WRC roaring to life. Now, we have our own in-house team pushing the limits of each high-performance engine completely from our Hyundai Motorsport headquarters in Alzenau.
In other forms of motorsport it is common to take a production engine block, lighten it and upgrade the parts. Our approach allows us to carefully consider each element to create the best overall power unit that can compete at high altitude, in extreme temperatures and at varying speeds.
Initial design starts from 3D modelling and we use calculation engineering to simulate the engine digitally. This information is correlated with data from the Engine Test Bench team (dyno), once the engine or individual part is built and the feedback is used in all future work.
Aside from the dyno, Engine Design also works closely with the Engine Workshop, Development Engineers, Chassis Department and other areas to ensure everything fits together symbiotically.
Development for new engines and systems such as cooling and the oil tank happens in conjunction with other areas of the car, including the full chassis. It’s important for the team to know exactly where the engine will be placed within the engine bay and which systems have to be connected. With the tight turnarounds required between events, everything must be easy to inspect, swap and repair.
This process takes time, and given the rigorous testing schedules for initial dyno development through to on road testing for a new season, it is no wonder that the 2017 engine began its life in late 2015.
It took just four months to move from initial sketches to production, and begin testing in parallel to work on the 2016 New Generation i20 WRC. With collaboration all the way through to the Test Team and Rally Mechanics, it is truly a team effort. Any potential issues during assembly and maintenance can be identified and quickly resolved by adapting or redesigning parts.
Externally ordered items are provided with the help of the Purchase Department. While it is not the most obvious interdepartmental relationship, the Purchase team has been instrumental in identifying and developing a database of approved suppliers.
The end result is a reliable engine package for our crews to tackle the stages – and for you to drive at home! One of the aims of our Hyundai Motorsport programme from its very conception is to transfer technology and learning into road cars. The Engine Design team has regular meetings with Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center and Namyang Research and Development Center to present their results and findings.
This collaboration works both ways, with Hyundai’s technology expertise available to the WRC team to perform materials analysis on damaged parts. Parts are already being used in road car development from both the WRC programme and Customer Racing.
With a talented and motivated team working together behind the scenes, it is clear there will be more innovations on the way to power our WRC challengers and ultimately, road cars in the future.