The top category of rallying in the World Rally Championship (WRC) will take on the latest iteration of regulations dubbed Rally1, which will supersede the existing WRCar regulations. Constructors will still be permitted to use chassis of tubular frame construction, albeit with the incorporation of hybrid electric powertrains.
Here in this teaser, Hyundai offers a glimpse at its contender in the premier rallying class for the 2022 season – the i20 N WRC Rally1, which is shown here in camouflage foil. The 2022 season contender is built from the performance hatchback roots of the i20 N that made its debut last October.
As their names might suggest, the i20 N WRC Rally1 seen here is positioned above the i20 N Rally2, which replaces the i20 R5 that was eligible for the R5 category that is replaced by the Rally2 class. Even as it remains literally under wraps, the i20 N Rally1 is more aggressive-looking, wearing front and rear fenders that are wider than those on its Rally2 twin, as well as with a much larger rear spoiler.
Technical details remain undisclosed, though compliance with Rally1 technical regulations means that the turbocharged engine will displace no more than 1.6 litres, and be fitted with a 36 mm restrictor. This is expected to yield a peak output of around 380 hp, translating to a power-to-weight ratio of around 3.1 hp/kg.
The emergence of hybrid electric drive for the upcoming Rally1 category brings electric augmentation for the power boost mode when competing on special stages, and this is joined by a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS). This will not only boost performance, but also enable near-silent running when the Rally1 category rally cars take public roads to travel between stages and service parks.
Rally1-class cars will be no less exciting than their predecessors to watch and hear, as you’ll find from this video; the angry blare of the internal combustion engine is very much present, as are the pops, bangs, whistles and chirps of a competition-grade turbocharged powerplant being given a workout.
“It’s a special moment when you take a car to the road for the first time and as always there are some challenges to face. In the case of our 2022 Rally1 challenger, we are starting from scratch with brand-new rules, a different concept and a new base model – the i20 N,” said Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo.
Evaluation of the i20 N Rally1 will take place in different locations across Europe for the variety of conditions and terrain that will be encountered on the WRC calendar, according to Hyundai Motorsport. “We have seen interesting things, some that need to be changed and improved but it is all part of the process and of the job,” Adamo said, as the team prepares for the car’s debut ahead of Rallye Monte-Carlo 2022.
GALLERY: Hyundai i20 N Rally2
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