Hyundai tests a new modification at the rear of the i20 Coupé WRC in Finland

Today the WRC stage activity interruption came to an end when the team Hyundai started a series of development tests in Central Finland. With Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul at the wheel, the team has restarted the testing activity after the long break caused by the coronavirus affair and subsequent ban of testing by FIA. During this time, the teams have found the opportunity to work in new developments, not only for the 2021 and 2022 new cars but for the current cars, in order to be better prepared for the remaining events to be run in 2020.

T.Neuville/N.Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC, Development test, Central Finland – pictures by Henri Vuorinen Photography

The Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC seen today in the test (the car used by Sordo/Del Barrio in the Rally Serras de Fafe early this year) incorporated a new aero modification in the rear of the car. The change affects the rear vents of the rear fenders. While the previous design included horizontal louvers, the car seen today included vertical strakes replacing the horizontal louvers. The orientation of the exit towards the external sides of the car remains the same, as in the original design (see picture below).

T.Neuville/N.Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC, Rally Catalunya 2019, 1st

But the (new) vertical strakes have been designed to better direct the air towards the external sides of the car, in a more effective way than in the previous design (we already reviewed in a previous post on brake’s air removal).

T.Neuville/N.Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC, Development test, Central Finland (left) and Rallye Monte Carlo 2020 (right) – pictures by Henri Vuorinen Photography (left) and Hyundai Motorsports (right)

T.Neuville/N.Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC, Development test, Central Finland – pictures extracted from The Teevoman video

The modification also affects the louvers of the vents located behind the wheel (originally also with horizontal louvers), on both sides of the rear diffuser.

T.Neuville/N.Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC, Development test, Central Finland – pictures by Henri Vuorinen Photography

The goal of this modification would be to minimize the amount of air sent to the rear of the car, where it would get mixed with the car’s wake. It is known that the car’s wake is one of the most important sources of drag. With this new design, the removal of airflow to the wake allows reducing its turbulence level, thus reducing the drag generated by the car. In conclusion, the modification tries to reduce the drag, allowing the car to reach higher speeds.

This is the third aero modification Hyundai evaluates this year, after the redesign of the rear diffuser seen in Rallye Monte Carlo and the new aero package (rear wing and front winglets) seen in Rally México. This confirms the absolute commitment of the Alzenau-based team in the fight for the 2020 titles.

The positive of the modification is that it does not compute as a joker, as the modification of louvers can be done with just a Variant Option (VO), and there’s the possibility of using previous configurations, depending on the event.

2 thoughts on “Hyundai tests a new modification at the rear of the i20 Coupé WRC in Finland

  • 2020-06-11 at 08:08
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    Hello again! What an opportune time to post this article, given Neuville crashed this car straight away during his private test. Hopefully he’s okay, and it goes for all of us. Stay safe!

    A few questions:
    1. “The goal of this modification would be to minimize the amount of air sent to the rear of the car, where it would get mixed with the car’s wake.” Apologies, but I don’t really get this sentence. In other aero-influenced championship, non-downforce generating bodywork near the rear always focused on forcing as much linear, controlled, powerful jet of air to contain and influence the turbulent wake. Shouldn’t Hyundai’s modification increase the evacuation of air in that department, instead of reducing it and potentially hampering heat removal and allowing turbulent growth of the airflow?
    2. Seeing Neuville’s crash, do you have any information how much a driver is allowed to do private testing to maintain/hone their skills in their downtime? Is doing so with a non-specification car, like with year-old cars, completely free? I think he’s a bit rusty, and in WRC, it’ll immediately end in a crash instead of into a run-off area.
    3. Given the pandemic, do you think the rules revolution regarading the powertrain will get delayed, and teams forced to carry this car to 2021?

    Thanks for the hard work, as always!

    Reply
    • 2020-06-11 at 20:51
      Permalink

      Thanks for your kind words, Kevin. Fortunately, the crew is ok, and surely eager to take the wheel again soon. Regarding your questions:
      1. In the current WRC cars the jet created by the exhaust is possibly sufficient to increase energy in the turbulent wake. The fact that they keep working on preventing air from fenders to going to the wake seems to indicate that it is a disadvantage rather than beneficial (possibly generates drag).
      2. I’m not aware of any limitation apart from that affecting the WRC cars. In fact, Tänak did a driving session some days ago with an i20 R5 in preparation for driving the i20 WRC in Finland.
      3. As far as I know, there has not been any modification in the dates for the new regulations to be implemented, and teams have been working hard these months on the new cars for 2021 and 2022.
      My pleasure! Stay safe!

      Reply

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