Launch a WRC car like a pro

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Anthony Cullen WRC Anthony Cullen

What’s a current WRC-spec Hyundai i20? It’s a production-based chassis with a 1.6-liter fuel-injected turbo four with a 1.41-inch air intake restrictor. Its engine block and head are based on the 1.6s found in regular Hyundais, but the crankshaft, camshafts, pistons, linings, valves, and conrods are all modified. The result is a maximum of 380 horsepower, connected to a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters.

Add the permanent all-wheel drive through mechanical front and rear differential and an active center unit, and you’re looking at a very quick car weighing just 2976 pounds with the driver and co-driver onboard. You have a clutch pedal and a hydraulic handbrake to launch the thing, just as all those racing engineers intended.

WRC-spec Hyundai i20
Hyundai Motorsport

Hyundai Motorsport put Top Gear’s Ollie Marriage behind the wheel of a 2019 i20 WRC, and he explains how you need to pull the handbrake before pushing the start button, engaging first and then keeping the clutch pressed until the revs build up and the left pedal can be released at the same time as its very solid handbrake lever. And if your timing is correct, the i20 WRC will do one of those impressive four-wheel drive launches that demand some slow motion treatment.

If you’re still uncertain, just ring up Thierry Neuville, Andreas Mikkelsen, Dani Sordo, Craig Breen, or Sébastien Loeb. Once you’re at their level, move on to practicing the same in a World Rallycross (WRX) car tuned to 600+ horses.

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