So, Hyundai have taken the lead and unveiled their 2017 world rally challenger, the i20 Coupe WRC. It certainly looks the part and demonstrates what the FIA were getting at with their new regulations. There are spoilers, scoops and sharp angles all over the place, along with the now familiar Shell livery. I'm not sure on the odd colour wheels, but it looks pretty fancy otherwise and Hyundai have to be in with a good shout at the title now that VW have departed from the series.
If you've already read my thoughts on the 2017 regulations, you'll know that I'm not the biggest fan of the rule changes that the FIA have made. Don't get me wrong, the new cars do look bonkers, but I'm still not entirely convinced that they're going to be the silver bullet that some people think they are. This thought has been further reinforced by some comments that I read from Hyundai's master peddler, Thierry Neuville, who said, "The increase in power is incredible while the additional grip and driveability gives us more confidence to push. "
This is what I meant when I said that the regulation changes seem a bit contradictory. The extra power has made the car faster, but the aero and suspension changes have also given it more grip. Whether that extra grip will tame all of the power remains to be seen, but I still think the FIA have given with one hand, then taken away with the other. It would have been a whole lot cheaper and easier to just change the restrictor...
Anyway, we'll see what happens when the cars line-up at Monte Carlo in January. I might yet be proven wrong and then you can all scream "I told you so!" at me. While the Hyundai is quite impressive, it's the Fiesta that I'm really looking forward to seeing, as that's always been the looker of the field for me. Hurry up M-Sport.