Our Customer Racing department was busy testing the New Generation i20 R5 in France last week ahead of the car’s homologation in September.
It was a productive four-day tarmac test at the Chambley circuit. We used the opportunity to fine-tune the car as well as offer customers a first taste of the new R5 car.
The New Generation i20 R5 has completed over 4,500km of running on gravel and tarmac since its debut test in February. The car made its public debut at the Ypres Rally in June and has already generated lots of interest.
This latest test has built on the hard work that our Customer Racing department has carried out since September 2015 – and is another important step before homologation.
“As we have gone through the programme, each time we have run the car has become more and more important,” explains Customer Racing Manager Andrea Adamo. “At Ypres Rally, we showed we have developed a strong car on tarmac. At Chambley, we were able to concentrate on fine-tuning and building on our previous results.”
The reliability of the car allowed us to focus on long runs for the first two days of the test. By doing this, we could validate the performance of our 1.6-litre direct engine turbocharged engine. Our engineers were also able to see the positive results of their recent work to optimise the cooling package.
The remainder of the week at Chambley gave us the chance to involve teams and drivers, as we fill up our order books for the New Generation i20 R5.
We were able to offer invaluable insight thanks to our lead test driver Kevin Abbring, who has played a key role into the R5’s development.
“The ultimate success of our project will fall with our customers,” says Andrea. “It was great to welcome them to the test, and for them to get their first chance to drive the car. The feedback from those who got behind the wheel was very positive, which is encouraging and rewarding.”
The competitive debut of our New Generation i20 R5 is expected later in September, in the hands of our customers – after the car’s planned homologation.
We will be continuing to offer further experience days for interested drivers later this year on both tarmac and gravel.