It wasn’t just road cars taking to the stage at Paris Motor Show – several brands also pulled the wraps off the latest racing versions of their big-selling models, including Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Hyundai.
Audi’s hot new RS3 saloon was joined by a touring-car version that’ll be eligible to compete in series around the worid, more of next year’s new WRC machinery was revealed and Porsche unveiled the latest iteration of its hugely popular 911 GT3 Cup one-make racer.
AUDI RS3 LMS
Audi’s Customer Racing division is best known for producing the big-selling R8 GT3 for sportscar racing. It now hopes to repeat that car’s success in the world of touring cars with this motorsport version of the new RS3 saloon. It’s built to TCR rules (currently used by 18 touring-car championships worldwide), makes 330bhp and will be available for purchase by privateer teams for the start of the 2017 season.
HYUNDAI i20 WRC
Hyundai wasn’t quite ready to fully reveal its 2017 i20 WRC challenger at Paris, leaving the car in a camouflage wrap design incorporating the logo of its new ‘N’ high-performance brand. Like the other new-for-2017 WRC cars, the i20 features more power, greater aerodynamic downforce and a wider, more aggressive stance than the current crop.
PORSCHE 911GT3 CUP
This latest-generation 911 racer is intended for competing in Porsche’s worldwide Carrera Cup one-make championships for up-and-coming drivers.
Unlike the current roadgoing 911, the new Cup retains a naturally-aspirated engine, but with an increase in capacity from 3.8 to 4.0 litres and a resulting boost in power to 485bhp. Aerodynamics, durability and safety have also been improved.
TOYOTA YARIS WRC
After releasing its own camouflaged teaser pictures earlier in the year, Toyota used the Paris Motor Show to unveil the final livery of the 2017 Yaris WRC as well as a technical partnership with software giant Microsoft.
The US firm will develop data-analysis and information-sharing tools for the team, as well as enhanced fan communication using cloud computing and Microsoft devices.