Hyundai Motorsport has revealed its 2017 World Rally Championship challenger, the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, to become the first manufacturer to officially present its new car ahead of the regulation revamp.
The new WRC car was presented at a formal media event at Monza and is the squad's third new car since entering the series in 2014.
The announcement marks the first official sighting of the new generation of WRC machines upon the changes to regulations with focus on improving aerodynamic and mechanical grip by shifting engine power from 300 to 380bhp, reducing in the overall weight of the car and the re-introduction of the active centre differential.
Hyundai has been testing its 2017 prototype since last April and has notched up over 6,000km in preparation of its competitive debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January.
“We are heading into a new era for the sport with the biggest change to the regulations for some time,” Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan said. “It's a great new technical challenge and one that we have tackled with enthusiasm. It's an opportunity to put into practice everything we have learned and experienced in the past three seasons.
“All teams are starting from scratch so we are on equal footing. Having finished in second position in 2016, we want to demonstrate our ability to fight for the Championship in 2017 – and we are confident the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC will help us do just that.”
Hyundai retains the same driver line-up from 2016 with Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon while Kevin Abbring has also be kept on for testing duties.
Along with the new car, Hyundai has also refreshed its title sponsorship deals with Shell and Hyundai Mobis.