TAKE one frozen lake in northern Sweden. Add in WRC driver Thierry Neuville, the prototype of the new Hyundai i20 N, a new i20 WRC car and the RM19 concept, and you get a whole load of winter testing fun.
The video, released today, shows the i20 WRC rally car departing from a vehicle transporter and driving through darkened roads in Lapland, bonnet-mounted headlamps lighting its way.
As dawn breaks, it picks up speed, driving through snow-covered forests and around hairpin curves to reach its real playground: a frozen lake. The only sound is the revving of the engine as the car tears across the tundra on a bright Arctic day.
The video cuts to the RM19, skidding sideways along the road and leaving a plume of snow in its wake. In an interior shot, Neuville is seen pumping the pedals and expertly maneuvering the prototype known as Hyundai’s “rolling lab”.
The car draws sweeping curves across the snow before the camera cuts again, and this time we see a prototype of the new i20 N, with camouflage covering over its front and rear. There’s partial glimpses of the new model’s details, as it drives across the snow.
Hyundai’s decision to develop a high performance version of its i20 hatch follows the success of the i30 N and i30 Fastback N. As with other N models, the i20 N will be racetrack capable and street legal.
Winter testing ensures reliability under extreme conditions. The testing took place earlier this year on a frozen lake in Arjeplog, Sweden, a popular winter testing ground for automotive manufacturers.
The year-round deep cold makes it the perfect place for testing vehicles in extreme weather conditions. Some days, the temperature can drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius.
Hyundai tests its cars in harsh climates to make sure its vehicles can still perform in extreme weather conditions. From searing summer heat to icy winter roads, vehicles must be able to function in every climate condition.
In this test, Hyundai wanted to evaluate the reliability of the vehicles under extreme cold, as well as test their performance in motor sport-like conditions. The high speeds and sharp turns put the vehicles under a high amount of mechanical stress.
More details of the i20 N will be revealed soon.