Hyundai believes Hayden Paddon’s “proper” Rally Argentina victory shows it is a genuine threat to Volkswagen in the World Rally Championship.
The Korean brand won a rally in its first season back in the WRC, 2014, but Thierry Neuville’s Rally Germany win came after rivals hit trouble.
In Argentina last month, Paddon beat VW’s reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier in a final-stage thriller, although Ogier did spend much of the rally sweeping the roads.
“It’s true, this is a proper victory,” team principal Michel Nandan said.
“We showed the car is improved, and now the times are really close to the Volkswagen.
“This shows we are closer and now we are able to fight. It’s good for the team and it’s good for the car.
“This is only the fourth rally for the new car and now we win.
“For sure, this could be a good push for us for the future.”
Following his breakthrough victory, Paddon highlighted rear traction as an area for improvement with Hyundai’s new i20 WRC, which made its debut at Monte Carlo in January.
Nandan says there is a clear development plan in place.
“We are working on the suspension and differential,” Nandan said.
“Already since Mexico [in March], we made a good step [in Argentina] on suspension and dampers.
“We have some other things in testing – I think we are moving in the right direction. I think we can get more performance.
“As well as that, we are working on the engine and maybe there are some changes to come.
“We are working on the test bed at the moment and if it’s valuable then we will do it.”