Breen tests new Hyundai i20 N Rally2 in Swedish snow

Hyundai i20 N Rally2 takes to Swedish snow as testing gears up

  • The Hyundai i20 N Rally2 completed more than 600km of testing on Swedish snow and ice as the development phase ramps up ahead of the planned summer homologation
  • Driving duties over the four days were split between Irishman Craig Breen and Hyundai Motorsport WRC 2 driver Oliver Solberg who made his first kilometres with the new car
  • The test allowed the Customer Racing departments’ engineers to gain crucial knowledge of the car’s handling in the wintery conditions as they aim to create a package that is supremely capable on all surfaces.

The Hyundai i20 N Rally2 completed its latest test last week, running on snow and ice in Sweden for four days.

Driving duties at the test were shared between Craig Breen and Hyundai Motorsport WRC 2 driver Oliver Solberg, with each taking two days behind the wheel on roads north of erstwhile Rally Sweden base Torsby.  More than 600km were covered over the trouble-free four days on sections that were set to be part of the 2021 WRC event before its cancellation.

Not only was this the first test with the i20 N Rally2 in 2021, it also gave the Customer Racing department’s engineers a rare chance to see the capabilities of the car in the snowy conditions. With homologation planned for the summer this winter presented the only window to test on the surface before the first examples are delivered to customers. Taking advantage of the opportunity was a crucial step in the Customer Racing department’s task to create an excellent all-round package which teams and drivers can have full confidence in no matter where they choose to compete.

The testing continued the work begun last year, honing the core elements of the design. Focus fell on the damper and differential settings, working on the balance and traction of the chassis. During the days different combinations of new parts were used on the car, aiming to find the ideal combination. The data gathered will go towards a basic set-up for snowy conditions, but will also be useful when testing moves back to gravel in the coming months, while the information will be shared with the team of designers as they work to finalise components ahead of the homologation process.

The i20 N Rally2 is the second rallying design from Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing for customer teams and drivers. Designed from a blank sheet of paper the car features a new 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. Using the five years’ experience of supporting customers with the championship-winning i20 R5 the new chassis will offer an improved package. 

The development process will continue through the coming months, with testing scheduled for both tarmac and gravel. Order books for the car are open, with the Customer Racing department welcoming enquiries from interested teams and drivers.

Oliver Solberg said: “The Hyundai i20 N Rally2 felt really nice to drive. Hyundai Motorsport is taking real steps with this car and already the traction and handling are very good. To have the chance to work with a team of world champions like these guys is fantastic for me – it’s something very exciting to be involved in the development of such a new project. It’s really clear to see that Hyundai Motorsport is all-in to make a winning Rally2 car and it’s going to be super-cool to be part of the process of taking it to the homologation and competition stage. We have seen from the last couple of years, the competition in the category is incredible and the i20 N Rally2 is going to be a very exciting addition. I drove quite a few of these cars in the last couple of years and it’s very nice to think my experience can help Hyundai Motorsport with the i20 N Rally2.”

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Operations Leader Andrew Johns said: “The development schedule of the i20 N Rally2 is running as planned and our latest snow test is a key step to prepare a competitive car capable on every surface. The kilometres completed over the four days will not only be hugely useful for our customers when they come to their own winter events, but will also help push forward the development started on gravel stages last year. Over the next few months our engineers will continue to test, using different drivers to gain a wider range of feedback about all aspects of the car. The final package we offer to customers will be a superb all-round proposition.”

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