Toyota, Hyundai preview 2017 WRC cars
Toyota has uncovered its new 2017 WRC challenger while confirming a new partnership with technology giant Microsoft at the Paris Motor Show.
The Japanese manufacturer will become one of five factory teams next season when it returns to the World Rally Championship.
Toyota chose Paris to showcase its striking red and white livery for its WRC return, which features significant branding from Microsoft, who have joined the team as a technical partner.
The American company aims to enhance fan interaction through its partnership.
The squad has also agreed sponsorship deals with milling machine company DMG Mori and the popular electronics firm Panasonic.
“I believe that, like Toyota, Microsoft aims to enrich society in meaningful ways,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda
“Based on the on-going partnership, we aim to further develop our people and enhance our cars through the use of IT in motorsports to promote ‘ever-better cars’.”
The operation led by four-time WRC champion Tommi Makinen is yet to confirm its drivers although Finns Juho Hanninen and Esapekka Lappi have been linked to team.
Hyundai has also used the Paris Motor Show platform to preview an interim version of its i20 WRC car.
The Korean marque commenced testing of its new car in April and is expected to showcase its 2017 livery at an official launch in December.
New Zealander Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo have already been confirmed to pilot the i20 next season.
“The 2017 car started testing in April with initial work centred on engine and powertrain testing,” said Team Principal Michel Nandan.
“More recently, we have looked at suspension, differential and aero. There will be some small evolutions on both chassis and engine later this year.
“We look forward to revealing the final version of our 2017 car later this year.”