Hyundai has confirmed that its high-performance N brand is going electric, and it's showing off its ambitions with a pair of what it calls "rolling lab concepts." The brand has two cars that are testing what N can achieve: the Ioniq 6-based RN22e and the N Vision 74 concept that Hyundai needs to build as soon as possible.
We're supposed to focus on the RN22e because it's the one closest to production intent. But how could we when the N Vision 74 looks this cool?
Hyundai N Vision 74
This concept car is actually a hydrogen fuel cell electric car, not a battery electric model. The retro shape is derived from the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed Hyundai Pony Coupe concept from 1974. But for this one, Hyundai has managed to channel some of the best of the DeLorean along with a healthy dose of 1980s Group B rally car widebody and aero wheels.
The N Vision 74 is a massive car, nearly 5 metres long or just 40 mm shorter than a three-row Palisade. We're not sure if that counts the overhang of the rear wing or not, but you get the idea.
Its 4.2 kilos of hydrogen capacity power a 95-kW fuel cell stack and deliver an estimated range of more than 600 km. The rear-drive car has a 62.4-kWh battery to help store the energy and its twin rear motors deliver more than 670 hp and 665 lb-ft of torque.
Hyundai's RN22e is the one that uses the Ioniq 6 body, with a large rear wing, front splitter, and underbody aero enhancements. Hyundai has added a twin-clutch differential to this one to help boost the torque vectoring effect as well as using 3D printed parts to cut weight and maintain component rigidity.
Larger brakes with four-piston calipers let the RN22e work on track as well as off and can handle the weight of an EV. N e-shift adds simulated vibrations to work to enhance the experience and N Sound+ is intended to make the RN22e feel more like a gas N car.
The same 77.4-kWh battery found in the production car sends its energy to motors producing 577 hp and 546 lb-ft of torque.
While they are concepts, Hyundai says the cars are driven and are important. "Rolling labs represent the continuous development of our most advanced technologies. This unique approach makes us ready for the challenges of the future by empowering us to push ourselves to the limit," said Executive VP Thomas Schemera.
So what about the first production Ioniq N performance model? Hyundai has confirmed that the Ioniq 5 N will be launched in 2023. While it didn't give us any details, the RN22e's 577 hp sounds like a good place to start.