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2017 Hyundai i20 WRC racer revealed in Paris | video

Hyundai WRC i20 2017.

Hyundai's new i20-based rally challenger benefits from 2017 WRC rule changes.

Wrapped in a promotional disguise to draw attention to Hyundai's impending N performance road car range - the WRC car is sharing Hyundai's Paris motor show stand with the RN30 concept car that will eventually morph into a Golf GTI-baiting hot hatch. The WRC program is a key marketing tool for the company’s performance arm.

The 2017 i20 WRC – based on the new model not sold in Australia - is the result of a new set of technical regulations for the 2017 season.

"The 2017 WRC regulations have allowed all teams to start from a blank page, which has offered us an exciting engineering challenge. The changes will raise the level of entertainment in WRC on stages around the world with wider and more powerful cars," said Hyundai WRC Team Principal Michel Nandan.

The aero package is much wilder than in recent years, partly to widen the cars and give them a more appealing visual presence for audiences while delivering more downforce.

"The 2017 car started testing in April with initial work centred on engine and powertrain testing. More recently, we have looked at suspension, differential and aero. There will be some small evolutions on both chassis and engine later this year."

The rules have been loosened in two key areas - aerodynamics and engine. The aero package is much wilder than in recent years, partly to widen the cars and give them a more appealing visual presence for audiences while delivering more downforce.

The drivers will need more downforce because engine power is rising to 283kW, up from 224kW. The power jump comes courtesy of a larger turbo restrictor, while turbo pressure remains at 2.5 bar and engine size is unchanged at a 1600cc maximum.

Minimum allowable weight is also down by 25kg. The last of the major changes is teams are now allowed to use an active central differential.

The team has performed well since its return to the championship in 2014, with two wins in and four podiums in season 2016.

CarsGuide.com.au will be bringing you all the latest from the Paris motor show floor as it happens.

Will the new i20 WRC be the best looking racer this season? Tell us what you think in the comments below.