February 1, 2016 – Hyundai Motorsport’s new R5 rally car is on track for a summer 2016 release after a positive roll-out and first test last week.
Team test and development driver Kevin Abbring carried out the test in Fontjoncouse, southern France. Testing will now continue at various locations across Europe until homologation will be initiated in summer.
Like the WRC car that has already seen podium success in 2016, the R5 is based on our five-door New Generation i20. In line with FIA regulations, it features a 1.6 direct injection turbo engine with 32mm restrictor and a five-speed sequential gearbox and differential units.
The car is the first project to be undertaken by Hyundai Motorsport’s Customer Project division, established in September 2015, whose objective is to enhance Hyundai’s motorsport image around the world – in parallel to the company’s WRC involvement. The new R5 programme will develop a product that fully utilises all the technology, learning and experience gathered from two full seasons in the competitive World Rally Championship. It offers Hyundai customers a competitive vehicle to contest WRC2 and national and regional rally Championships around the world.
Our Customer Project division is headed up by Italian Andrea Adamo, who was appointed in December. It is supported by a 25-strong team who will now enter an intensive period of testing and development to prepare a reliable car.
“We are thrilled to have begun testing of Hyundai Motorsport’s new R5 rally car, which is the product of several months’ work by our team in Alzenau,” said Hyundai Motorsport Customer Project Manager Andrea Adamo.“Kevin carried out the initial test in Fontjoncouse last week and we have really hit the ground running. The first tests with the New Generation i20 R5 will be focused on reliability so we can resolve any teething problems as we develop a car that customers can enjoy driving without any compromise to performance. We are on target to deliver the first R5s around the end of summer. We are entering an important phase now, ramping up our testing programme and recruiting more staff to join our experienced team. The R5 is made for customers and although Hyundai Motorsport will not participate directly as a works team in any championship, we are focused on providing our clients with the best service and support. It’s an exciting period and we hope to see the car competing as early as the end of this year in regional and national Championships in the main European markets – and to see it more widely in 2017. We’re excited by this next phase of our programme.”