Hyundai Motorsport has pledged its commitment to the World Rally Championship, agreeing a three year deal along with M-Sport and Toyota to compete in the new Rally1 era until 2024.
In its latest guise, based in the German town of Alzenau, Hyundai has competed in the WRC since 2014 after a four-year spell from 2000-2003 with its Accent WRC.
In that time it has won 18 world rallies with Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon, Dani Sordo and Ott Tänak as well as both the 2019 and ’20 constructors’ championships.
However, it had remained the only current WRC team to not indicate its intention to remain in the series from next year when the new hybrid rules are introduced.
That has now all changed, with Hyundai joining Toyota and M-Sport in beginning a new initiative along with the FIA to commit to the development of hybrid technology. It will compete with a Rally1 car based on the new i20 N road car.
All three manufacturers have agreed to a three-year deal as opposed to an annual retainer as the WRC switches to a numerous clauses system, meaning each team will be more involved with the FIA and WRC Promoter in future series plans.
FIA president Jean Todt said: “The FIA World Rally Championship is on the brink of reaching an important milestone with the new-generation cars, Rally1, coming in 2022.
“A switch to plug-in hybrid power reflects the latest trends in the automotive industry, at the same time making the sport more sustainable. This was made possible owing to the joint efforts of the manufacturers and the FIA.
Through rallying, we are able to influence and give direction to the development of tomorrow’s Hyundai road cars; this is a real honorAndrea Adamo
“The fact that all three of the brands currently involved in the championship committed for a further three years proves that world rallying is heading in the right direction. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this achievement.”
Hyundai team principal Andrea Adamo added: ““Hyundai Motorsport exists to support the global objectives set by Hyundai Motor Company, by offering a credible platform to showcase current and future automotive technology.
“Through racing and rallying, we are able to influence and give direction to the development of tomorrow’s Hyundai road cars; this is a real honor and a role we take incredibly seriously.
“We are therefore pleased to support the future direction outlined by the FIA and WRC Promoter with the new hybrid regulations from 2022. We will develop our car around the Hyundai i20 N, which itself was inspired by our WRC success to date.
“As two-time champions, we welcome the new challenge and look forward to flying the Hyundai flag into this new era.”