Hyundai Motorsport's third new rally car in two years has started testing, with Kevin Abbring running the i20 R5 in the South of France last week.
The Korean manufacturer upgraded its i20 WRC last season, then introduced a completely new World Rally Car with a podium finish at last month's Monte Carlo Rally and has now commenced testing with the R5 for the WRC2 class.
The i20 R5 is expected to make its competitive debut in the second half of the season, when test crew Kevin Abbring and Seb Marshall will switch their attentions to running a fourth new car: next year's 2017-specification i20 WRC.
Speaking after the R5's first test in Fontjoncouse, Hyundai's customer division chief Andrea Adamo said: "We have really hit the ground running.
"The first tests with the New Generation i20 R5 will be focused on reliability so we can resolve any teething problems as we develop a car that customers can enjoy driving without any compromise to performance.
"We are on target to deliver the first R5s around the end of summer. We are entering an important phase now, ramping up our testing programme and recruiting more staff to join our experienced team."
While Hyundai is building its effort in R5, Adamo said it would not be following Skoda's lead in entering a works team in the 2017 WRC2 series.
"The R5 is made for customers and although Hyundai Motorsport will not participate directly as a works team in any championship, we are focused on providing our clients with the best service and support," he said.
TOYOTA PLANNING R5 TOO
Toyota has confirmed it will also develop a Yaris R5, but its car will be 12 months behind the i20.
Team boss Tommi Makinen said: "As soon as we have time to concentrate on that, we will do. We are investigating different areas already.
"We talk to TMG people and, of course, Toyota Motor Company to see what is their overall market and situation and what it could be.
"This is definitely not for 2017, I would say the first year would be 2018.
"If we could start now, we could have a car ready late in 2017, but I don't see any point in bringing the production forward if the car is not fast enough. I don't like that way.
"We'll concentrate our production to make the car right."
Makinen also suggested Toyota's young Japanese proteges Hiroki Arai and Takamoto Katsuta could be tasked with developing the R5.