The World Rally Championship’s current Group R regulations have made for some incredible rally action. While enthusiasts lament the loss of Group B, those cars were slower, more difficult to control, and significantly more deadly. The current cars have around 300 tractable horsepower, an incredible AWD system, great aero, and advanced tire compounds to help them blitz a rally stage. All of that adds up to an utterly bonkers rally car. But they could still be faster.
Starting with the same chassis as its WRC i20 coupe, Hyundai developed a mega spec car for driver Hayden Paddon to tackle hillclimbs with. Following a one-year hiatus from the WRC paddock, the Kiwi driver has been working on developing his skills with even more power and without a co-driver climbing mountains in an 800-horsepower version of his former WRC car.
Of course, Paddon was planning a return to WRC for the 2020 season before the whole coronavirus situation threw the season on its ear, and has been acting as a Hyundai ambassador in the meantime.
Before the world got tipped upside down, we had plans with @HyundaiNZ for a return to the @OfficialWRC this year. The idea and theme was based around a 100% Kiwi livery while driving a Hyundai WRC car for a second team. We were very excited along with Hyundai NZ for 4 rounds 1/2 pic.twitter.com/rtcAuWymbd
— Hayden Paddon (@HaydenPaddon) June 9, 2020
As evidenced by the below video, Paddon’s talent hasn’t gone anywhere in the intervening time. This monster hillclimb car has ditched its 1.6-litre turbo engine in favour of a 2.1-litre turbo and an even-bigger-than-rallycross-spec aero setup to help keep everything under control. This has to be one of the most frightening machines in the world to drive. In current spec it weighs around 1,179 kg, and its all wheel drive system and grippy tires make for a sensational showing.
Here you can see Paddon taking on the Ben Nevis 1200 Hillclimb earlier this year with a few awesome clips of the car sliding and then shooting away with an ear-splitting braap. There is also a full-length onboard video of the car running the hillclimb, which is just plain incredible to watch from start to finish.
It’s Saturday, and there’s never been a better way to celebrate the weekend than clicking this play button and cranking up the sound. It makes me want to get up and start running around the house like a madman. Maybe I’m just going stir crazy. Anyway, just watch it!