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Hyundai have confirmed their return to the WRC, possibly as early as next year, with the unveiling of the Hyundai WRC i20.

Speaking at the Paris Motor Show, Mark Hall, Hyundai Motor Europe's marketing director, said:  “The World Rally Championship is recognised as one of the most dramatic sporting series on Earth. It’s a spectacle filled with excitement and dynamism - the perfect embodiment of the Hyundai brand.

“The WRC also offers the most technologically-diverse challenge for an automotive manufacturer. Our participation will demonstrate Hyundai’s engineering excellence and durability, and will also help to enhance our passenger vehicles in future.”

Hyundai first competed in the WRC in 1998 with its first World Rally Car, the Accent, launched in 2000, but the manufacturer hasn't been seen on the world rally stage since 2003.  No details of driver line-ups or Hyundai's WRC program have been announced as yet but it is believed the WRC i20 will appear at selected events in 2013 with a full program to follow in 2014.

The announcement means that up to five manufacturers could compete in the WRC next year with Citroen, Ford, MINI and Volkwagen all expected to participate.

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