Hyundai Motorsport has upgraded its engine to combat against the unique conditions of Rally Guanajuato Mexico this weekend, with its three World Rally Championship drivers testing it out at a pre-event test in Spain.

The Hyundai i20 WRC car will be fitted with a newly-modified fuel injection system specifically for the Mexican event which climbs to the dizzying heights of 2,700 metres above sea level. The high altitude provides much thinner air and the lack of oxygen creates a trickier environment for car and driver to work in.

With the air causing a suffocating effect on the engines they will be significantly down on power, with Volkswagen estimating a 20% reduction. Hyundai has forecast an even higher loss of power, pushing towards 30% compared to driving at sea level, and feel the upgraded engine will go some way to solving that problem.

Related Articles

"The altitude will be one of the key factors in this rally so we have tested these conditions on the engine test bench," explained Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan. "We also continued to test our paddle shift, which still needs some fine-tuning, but we are confident this will be ready for Argentina [23-26 April]."

Mexico represents a happy hunting ground for Hyundai, who achieved its first WRC podium last season, when Thierry Neuville secured third place.

Hyundai currently sit second in both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships, after Neuville finished second in Rally Sweden last time out.

The Belgium driver will welcome back team-mate Dani Sordo who was absent from Sweden after suffering broken ribs while training in Spain. Hayden Paddon, who filled in for Sordo last month, returns to his number 20 Hyundai car.