Hyundai has confirmed it will wait until the 2016 World Rally Championship season to debut its new i20 contender after it was forced to switch from a three-door bodystyle to the five-door variant.

The Korean manufacturer, which enjoyed a rally winning return to WRC in 2014, had originally planned to give the new shape i20 WRC its first competitive outing during the 2015 season but has been forced to put this back to the start of the 2016 season.

The reasoning behind the decision is due to an unforeseen delay in the production of the road-going three-door version of the i20, which puts Hyundai under pressure to get it homologated. As such, Hyundai will homologate the five-door model instead and spend the remainder of 2015 concentrating on its development.

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"We had a very detailed week of testing planned in Spain recently, as we put an upgraded version of our New Generation i20 WRC through its paces in the Almeria region," said team principal Michel Nandan. "Kevin [Abbring] and Thierry [Neuville] worked on engine and chassis development, as well as altitude tests, which will help us to further develop the car as we move through 2015.

"We had hoped to introduce the new car later this season but unfortunately an issue with the homologation schedule - related to production of the three-door road version - will delay our programme. We have therefore opted to continue focus on the five-door version of the New Generation i20 WRC which will compete at Rallye Monte-Carlo 2016.

"This revised schedule gives us extra time to ensure the car is where we want it to be performance-wise. At the same time, the current Hyundai i20 WRC will undergo a number of important updates which we hope will keep us in the fight for podiums this season."

Hyundai has enjoyed a positive start to the 2015 World Rally Championship season, with Neuville classified third overall after three events one podium in Sweden.