The world's most badass Hyundai? Paddon unveils new-look i20 monster
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Like Lady Gaga and her meat dress, Hayden Paddon's AP4+–spec Hyundai i20 rally car is rapidly becoming known for its uncanny ability to be transformed from a (relatively) standard AP4 rally car to aero-heavy hillclimb war machine.
Paddon's just unveiled the latest look for the trusty i20; featuring its familiar complex system of front and rear wings, as well as a new sinister paint-scheme sporting backing from Hyundai New Zealand, Wurth, Pak'N'Save, Pepsi Max, and more.
At last count (circa Ashley Forest RallySprint, 2018), the little bruiser's 2.1-litre turbocharged four was claimed to be capable of making 507kW of power. Expect that figure to have been given a bit of a lick since in this hillclimb format.
The new livery unveil ties in with the Kiwi's announcement of plans for 2020. Paddon will compete in the New Zealand Rally Championship, Asia Pacific Rally Championship, and Pacific Cup Rally Championship. And, with the alignment of a few stars, there's hopefully a Rally New Zealand berth in the equation, too.
“It’s been 20 years since a New Zealander last won the Asia Pacific Rally Championship,” says Paddon. “That was the legendary Possum Bourne back in 2000. So, the competitive focus for this year is to win the New Zealand Rally Championship and both the FIA Asia Pacific Championship and FIA Pacific Cup.”
“John Kennard and Samantha Gray will take a mix of rallies as my co-driver and we’ll use the same Hyundai i20 AP4 that Paddon Rallysport has successfully run over the past four seasons with some small upgrades for the 2020 season. [...] It’s going to be a very busy year for our team which will be a challenge but we’re all looking forward to putting our best foot forward and continuing to improve.
“Paddon Rallysport is proud to run the official Hyundai New Zealand motorsport programme. [...] We started this vision with Hyundai New Zealand in 2016 and, year on year, this vision has grown with 2020 our biggest year to date. We have a young but very motivated team who will deliver this competitive programme alongside the build and development of our EV Rally car.”
His calendar kicks off with the Ben Nevis Golden 1200 Hillclimb on March 7–8, with Rally Otago (April 3–5), Rally Whangarei (May 8–10), Rally South Canterbury (June 20), and Rally Hawkes Bay (July 25) coming in the short term before things finish up with the Ashley Forest RallySprint, Waimate 50, and Coffs Harbour Rally over the ditch.
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