Hyundai Motorsport has completed the first test of its latest hybrid-era vehicle in southern France.
The three-day test on rugged gravel roads concluded yesterday (Saturday), and it came after the prototype’s first roll-out at a private facility in Germany.
The Rally1 car for 2022 is based on Hyundai’s i20 N road vehicle, and work has been focusing on collecting data from all areas in preparation for further testing on various surfaces at locations around Europe.
The FIA World Rally Championship will launch a new generation of hybrid cars next season, with all top-level cars equipped with a powertrain that includes an electric motor and a current combustion engine.
While lead drivers Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak signed new multi-year contracts with the team earlier this month, Hyundai has not announced who was behind the wheel during testing.
Andrea Adamo, the team’s principal, said it was thrilling to embark on such a new adventure.
“Taking a car out on the road for the first time is a remarkable moment, and there are still some hurdles to overcome,” he said.
“We saw some interesting stuff during last week’s session, some of which need to be modified and strengthened, but it’s all part of the process and work.
“The Hyundai Motorsport team has done an incredible job in preparing the car for the first test in such a short period of time.”
In recent weeks, Hyundai’s WRC competitors have also made significant strides with their hybrid-era vehicles.