Forget everything you’ve seen regarding Hyundai Motorsport’s 2022 assault on the World Rally Championship. Forget marching a media army through a faux WRC round last month. Forget the pictures, the video, the chatter.
This week, everything changes. This week Hyundai Motorsport begins testing its real 2022 challenger.
Asked how much of the car Hyundai Motorsport has tested so far for its ’22 campaign would be carried over into its actual Rally1 machine, team principal Andrea Adamo’s response was predictably precise.
“The rims,” he said.
Seriously, that’s all?
“The only thing that will be similar to the current car that you have seen are the rims, and I’m not joking.”
Adamo added that when a deal was agreed for Hyundai to share M-Sport’s technical director Christian Loriaux earlier this season, Loriaux was given a clean sheet of paper.
“When he arrived he asked me: ‘What can I do?’ I told him…”
At this point, Adamo graciously asked to borrow the DirtFish notebook. He then opened it to a clean spread of pages to demonstrate his point.
“Ask him. Call him – but he won’t answer your call, because I don’t authorize it!
“He told me it may cost a lot. I told him: ‘Your job is to make a car winning, teach my people things, help me reorganize things. My job is to find the money to make it happen: you do your job, I do mine.’”
The new car is running in secret at Hyundai’s permanent test site this week.
“There will be a roll out for two days with this new car,” said Adamo, “then six days of testing.”
Asked if this meant Hyundai had effectively built two 2022 cars, the first being the current prototype test mule, Adamo said yes.
I was happy the other teams were watching…Andrea Adamo on Hyundai's Rally1 rally simulation
“The current car was a prototype,” he said. “ We put it together quite fast to let us get experience to make the new one. And I have to say my people have done – I always speak about my people – and I really love [to] work with them and I’m proud of them.
“But this time, between chassis, transmission, engine, they have done something incredible.
“We have redesigned the [transmission] casing, we have redesigned internals and we have redesigned the rear differential too to make it different like every f****** thing I told you. The propshaft is different because we modified the lines, but the driveshaft has been modified to match with the new stuff. The up-right is different. Everything is different.
“The workshop has done something incredible, the purchasing department has done something incredible. Because we have been there, and everything that they saw needed to be changed has been done. So every piece has been redone in this car. A huge job done.”
Asked if the current car could be seen as a diversion and promotion for the media and fans, Adamo smiled and said: “It’s why you saw [it].
“[And] I was happy the other teams were watching…”