A Fourth Rally1 Hyundai Is In The Works

November 5, 2023Joe Moore

It has been revealed that a fourth car is in the works for the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team, find out more below. 

Where Is This Coming From? 

The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team had been rumored to be getting a fourth car next season. However, up until this point, nothing was confirmed nor denied. Hyundai Motorsport team principal Cyril Abiteboul has revealed a fourth i20 is in the cards for the team. However, building a fourth car isn’t Hyundai’s top priority right now. Instead, they are focusing on having three cars prepared and ready for Rallye Monte-Carlo to kick off the 2024 season. The team has already started these preparations with Esapekka Lappi testing a new version of the i20 on snow this past week. 

How Will The Fourth Hyundai Be Used? 

The sole purpose of the fourth i20 is to develop new drivers. This will give young drivers a chance to learn the ropes in a rally1 car before having to worry about manufacturers’ points and such. Hyundai is doing the same thing Toyota did in the 2022 season with Takamoto Katsuta. Giving a young, inexperienced at the top level driver a chance in a rally1 car. 

Who Will Drive The Fourth Hyundai?

This is a question that will be answered in due time. As things sit right now Hyundai have two drivers in their motorsport academy. 2022 WRC2 champion Emil Lindholm and Fabrizio Zaldivar. They also have Irishman Josh McErlean as a Junior driver. There’s a 90% chance Lindholm will be one of the drivers to get a drive in the car. He could also potentially be the only driver. As they might allow Lindholm to do a full season in the car. However, that seems unlikely as it wouldn’t be a great use of resources.
The team may look to bring back a driver or add another outside driver as well. Names such as Pierre-Louis Loubet, Yohan Rossel, Sami Pajari, Nikolay Gryazin and Oliver Solberg come to mind. All of those drivers and more have been some of the WRC’s top young stars. Both Loubet and Solberg have driven Hyundai’s before. While Rossel, Pajari and Gryazin have only driven WRC2 or lower cars. Regardless of the route Hyundai decide to go it will be a tough, throughout decision for the team.