Hyundai plans to capitalise on its entry into the World Rally Championship next year with a range of sporty models, starting with a version of the next Hyundai i20.
The 2014-spec i20 WRC car has been testing extensively ahead of its WRC debut at next year’s Monte Carlo Rally and made a surprise appearance at Hyundai’s eve-of-motor-show event in Frankfurt.
Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, said: “We chose WRC instead of F1 because of the greater crossover with our road cars. We will have sporty derivatives as a spin-off of the WRC programme.”
A Hyundai insider told us that a hot version of the new i20 supermini, due to debut at the Paris motor show in September 2014, is the most likely first model to benefit from a WRC-style makeover.
“All brands need some sporty DNA,” said Rushforth, “And in the mind of consumers, Kia is probably sportier than we are. But we aim to be a bit more upmarket, like Bentley is to Volkswagen.”
The Frankfurt motor show sees the global debut of the new i10 city car, a model that will account for 74,000 sales in Europe with over a quarter expected to come to the UK.
The new i10 leads 22 new models and derivatives from Hyundai over the next four years. It’ll target the VW up! with Hyundai being particular bullish about it being more spacious, better equipped and quieter than the popular VW city car.