Shots fired by Hyundai's engineers who've been hard at work on EV development and putting the finishing touches on their latest demo vehicle, the Hyundai RM20e Sports Car. And yes, you read that right—this creation boasts 810hp with over 700 lbs.-ft of torque churned by its electric motor that is placed mid-ship (the RM designation refers to "Racing Midship") and powers the rear wheels. Call it an exercise in excess, the widebody, pint-sized brawler is the group's golden child, tasked with constant testing to produce data that can be applied to other potential models.
The build-up began with a body-in-white, blank canvas Veloster that included an aluminum extrusion front subframe and steel tube and plate rear subframe. MacPherson front suspension teams up with a rear double-wishbone setup and conventional gas-pressure dampers under all four arches. Bringing things to a halt are 6-piston front and 4-piston rear brakes along with a Bosch motorsport-level ABS M5 system.
Putting 800hp to the ground required a much wider footprint than you'd find on your average Veloster, and to that end, 19x10-inch front and 20x11-inch rear wheels, based on lightweight, forged aluminum structure, carry 265/35 front and 305/30 rear tires. Extended arches both front and rear jut out from the Veloster's once svelte body to cover the aggressive wheel and tire package, while low slung side skirts along with a huge rear diffuser and roof-height spoiler help give the car a whole new presence.
This isn't Hyundai's first dive into electric race car development, as the automaker designed and built the Veloster eTCR last year and unveiled it at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Like the RM20e, extensive testing was applied in order to gather essential data. Part of that testing included 420 to 480 laps around the Nurburgring Nordschleife in varying weather conditions, equating to upwards of 100,000 miles of intense driving packed into a four-week period. Hyundai actually holds a piece of the 'Ring with their 3,600 square meter testing center within the track's motorsports complex.
Love it or hate it, EV platforms are continuing to increase in both passenger vehicle and motorsport applications, as power production steadily climbs on the regular and the research and development is only increasing. The brand's Executive Vice President, Thomas Schemera, states, "The RM20e sports car prototype clearly signals future electrified brand aspirations for Hyundai's performance N brand, moving N into the prestigious genre of supercar-level performance. Moving forward, Hyundai N not only increases drivers' heartbeats per minute via powerful internal combustion engines, but also through the instantaneous torque and environmental sustainability of reliable electrified powertrains. RM20e proves that N driving excitement will not be compromised, even in electrified model variants."
What is that N all about?
In recent years you've seen the letter "N" used by Hyundai and you might not know what it means. In actuality, its significance is two-fold. First, it represents the city of Namyang, where Hyundai's global R&D center resides in Korea. Second, it refers to Hyundai's aforementioned European Testing Center at the Nurburgring. Finally, the soft, flowing lines of the N badge's shape itself symbolize a road course chicane.