Where is Hyundai’s performance now?

Hyundai has gone from a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally to a Croatia double podium. But what's next?


The pace and performance of Hyundai’s i20 N Rally1 has been one of the major talking points of the 2022 World Rally Championship season so far.

After a frantic and turbulent off-season, the 2019 and ’20 manufacturers’ champion openly admitted it wasn’t quite ready for the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally. The new car’s pace proved to be worrying in dry, stable conditions.

Sweden represented a return to form as Thierry Neuville bagged second place, and Croatia was the team’s best result of the season yet with both Neuville and Ott Tänak on the podium.

Hyundai is now up to second in the manufacturers’ race, four points clear of M-Sport Ford albeit already 42 points down on early leader Toyota.


The WRC switches to gravel for Rally Portugal this month – a surface that forms the backbone of the championship. The question that now lingers is where will Hyundai stack up going forward?

“I don’t think we are at the same level as the Toyota yet,” Neuville told DirtFish, “but somehow we were able to pull off some really good stage times [in Croatia], knowing that the conditions were tricky and sometimes by pushing a bit harder you can easily make a gap.

“But I have to say, I felt comfortable driving it, so that’s a good point and after we can start working on the small details to increase the performance.”

The Hyundai drivers got their first proper taste of the i20 N Rally1 on gravel last week but Neuville is aware he could struggle in Portugal regardless of the car’s performance.

“I’m going to be second on the road,” he pointed out. “Some very fast drivers are going to be starting very far behind, so at the end, the challenge will be for us to fight for the top five. Or maybe the podium. But I think the realistic goal will be the top five.

“We have, I think, five or six ahead of us starting far back who can go for the victory. So it’s going to be tough but we knew that. We knew that already after Sweden. If we messed up here we’d be in a bad starting position for there.”

Tänak is similarly reserved in his outlook.

“There are many, many topics on the table which need solutions,” he told DirtFish.

“The team just needs to work on that. Let’s see what the next rallies bring us, we’re going to gravel and it will be a completely new topic again.”