The FIA has welcomed the news that Hyundai is to return to the World Rally Championship for the first time since 2003.

The Korean manufacturer used the opening day of the Paris motor show to take the wraps off the i20 WRC that it will use for its return, although the exact nature of that comeback has still to be made official.

It is widely expected that that i20 WRC, which has been developed by Hyundai in-house, will appear on selected events in 2013 before Hyundai comes in full-time in 2014, with the governing body welcoming the manufacturer onboard.

"We are delighted to welcome Hyundai back into our rallying family," FIA president Jean Todt said. "This is a great boost to our Championship and underlines the faith global manufacturers have in our sport, despite the difficult economic times we all face."

The FIA's statement also welcomed the continued support from Citroen, which will again return next season, albeit without Sebastien Loeb in a full-time role after he elected to only contest selected events.