Throughout the rest of the world rally racing is a big deal and car manufacturers put serious money into winning the World Rally Championship, which started in 1973. So, it has been around a while.
Not so much Hyundai, which first entered WRC racing at the Monte Carlo Rally in 2014. But the Hyundai team was a quick learner and after tweaking its European subcompact, the i20, it started racking up podiums and points. For the record, the i20 is similar to the Hyundai Kona and Kia Rio models sold in the US market.
Hyundai was the WRC manufacturer’s champion in 2019, its teams winning four events. Ixo, which quickly cranks out resin models of current race winners in many categories, has just released an eye-catching 1/43 scale version of the 2019 Hyundai rally racer. This one competed in the Monte Carlo Rally.
A bit more background. For 2019 Hyundai entered four teams with two drivers on each as drivers pair up in rally racing, each event spread over several days of grueling action on dirt roads that include natural obstacles and that quickly become rutted and difficult to handle at speed.
The top drivers for Hyundai were Belgians Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, who finished second in the driver standings, winning three rallies. Second most successful was the team of Dani Sordo and co-driver Carlos del Barrio, which finished well throughout the season and won one rally.
Overall the team scored four wins and 13 podiums in 13 events with Neuville/Gilsoul winning the Tour de Corse, the Rally Argentina, and the Rally Catalunya de Espana. The Sordo/del Barrio team won the Rally Italia Sardegna.
Ultimately Hyundai beat defending champion Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT by 18 points, and Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja won their maiden drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships for Toyota. Both now race for Hyundai.
The Ixo review car is that of another Hyundai duo, 9-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elana, which posted one podium during the 2019 season. This is their car No. 19 that raced to fourth place at the 2019 Monte Carlo Rally.
Ixo continues to surprise with its quality at modest pricing, making these 1/43 scale models perfect for filling gaps in a collection, or spinning off into a new category, such as rally racers, just for fun.
First, the cars come in a sturdy acrylic case and in nicely decorated orange and black boxes with a window on the front, one side and the box’s top. That allows you to store and display Ixo cars just as they come.
The review model is a blue-gray racer with exciting Day-Glo orange (to slightly pink) stripes and nose, tail and side markings, a bit like camouflage mixed with black along the car’s bottom edges where there also are flat black aero skirts and a nose spoiler and rear diffuser.
The racer features big fender flairs over each wheel and small winglets in front, just below the clear light lenses. Add two black racing mirrors on each side of the car, a tear-drop aero scoop on the roof and tiny black antenna there too.
Wide black plastic wipers are set to clear the windshield or racing muck. You also can see the silver roll cage inside the racer, along with the black racing seats and yellow edged seatbelts. Hard to see much else other than the steering wheel and dash’s top.
I like that Ixo includes a representation of sliding vent windows etched into each side window; those help cool drivers during a rally. And naturally the drivers’ names are emblazoned on the rear windows along with the No. 19.
Need a bit more? Well, there are a few more decals all around the car, plus a black PE grille with the car’s name, i20 painted in white right in the center, plus a red tow ring sticking out from the grille too. Wheels are gun metal gray racing wheels wrapped in Michelin-branded treaded racing tires.
In this price range you can’t do better than Ixo models, especially for modern racing cars of all ilks.
Vital Stats: Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC #19, 2019 Monte Carlo Rally
Stock No.: IXORAM701