Hyundai has announced the launch of its new WRC R5 project with test driver Kevin Abbring managing the development of the car which is expected to be available midway through 2016.

Alongside the Dutch driver's testing duties for its 2017 WRC challenger, to come into line with the regulations revamp, he will commence testing the R5 model in the coming weeks which is expected to be launched into the WRC 2 support series to rival the current front runners of the Ford Fiesta R5, the Citroen DS3 R5 and the Skoda Fabia S2000.

Hyundai has outlined the development phase will run during the first six months of 2016 with the homologation of the car expected to take place over the summer in readiness for the manufacturer to be open to orders by the second half of the year.

Abbring is relishing the prospect of more time driving by testing both the 2017 WRC car and the new R5 version and is aware of the amount of trust Hyundai has put in him to produce a strong challenger.

"It's going to be a very busy year with the 2017 WRC car to develop and the new R5. I'm very happy my work as test driver has been highly appreciated," Abrring said. "We all work together very hard to achieve Hyundai Motorsport's goals and it's great to be part of it.

"For someone like me, with a limited amount of WRC experience, it's a great help to do as much testing as possible between events. R5 development will mean more driving this year and I can use my recent experience to make a better car.

"I've learnt a lot in the rallies so far but on the other hand it has been hard to show my potential when only contesting some of the rounds. I'm really pleased by the trust the team has in me, and I'm really looking forward to what's coming."