Hyundai Motorsport has signed Kevin Abbring as its test driver for the 2015 World Rally Championship as the manufacturer gears up to replace its car with the new generation i20 later this year.

The Dutchman carried out driving duties for the manufacturer in a number of pre-event roll-outs, but for 2015 he has been given the official test driver role, which will in turn result in a handful of WRC event outings.

Furthermore, Abbring will be charged with leading development on the new generation i20 WRC, which goes on sale as a road car this month and is likely to be introduced to the World Rally Championship later this year.

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"I am thrilled to be joining the Hyundai Motorsport driver line-up in 2015 in the role of test driver," he said. "I watched the team's debut season in WRC with interest and they really surpassed everyone's expectations. I look forward to making a contribution to the ongoing development of the car and working with a very talented team of people."

Team principal Michel Nandan is pleased to be adding Abbring to the Hyundai roster after making an impression during his time with the team in 2014.

"We are pleased to include Kevin in our driver line-up for 2015, He is an extremely talented young driver and definitely one to watch for the future. We take our role as a WRC manufacturer seriously and have to invest in the talent of tomorrow.

"He impressed us with his approach and his ability in some roll-outs last year and we followed his progress in ERC and Rallye de France closely. He has vast experience with different rally cars and his contribution to the development of our New Generation i20 WRC will be valuable. It's great to have him as part of our driver roster."