Hyundai’s next-gen electric sports racing car
Hyundai Motor Company has introduced the next-generation electrified RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2020. The RM nomenclature refers to the N prototype model’s “Racing Midship” rear-drive, midship powertrain configuration, a fundamental design differentiator that yields ideal handling balance and agility from a low polar-moment of inertia.
This RM platform facilitates an engineering “rolling lab” for testing high-performance technologies, with outstanding connection to the tarmac at all speeds and driving conditions. This inherent balance and grip is also essential to help connect RM20e’s copious 596 kW (810 horsepower) and 960 Nm (708 lb.-ft.) of torque to variable road surfaces.
In 2012, Hyundai embarked on project RM to develop and connect new high-performance motorsports technologies with future N models. Since the initiation of project RM, there has been a progressive evolution of the RM series, including: RM14, RM15, RM16 and RM19.
In 2019, Hyundai’s first electric race car was developed for the eTCR electric touring car series, the ‘Veloster N eTCR’ that was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. RM models have progressively undergone extensive testing to validate advanced technologies, observe their effective increase in performance, and improve them for application in future N models.
“Our new electrified RM20e pushes the proven RM platform forcefully into a new, environmentally-focused decade of the 21st century, stretching the performance envelope of electrification on normal road environments,” said Albert Biermann, president and head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series, and our N engineers continue to garner valuable insights in the arena of zero-emission performance dynamics.”
Featuring a powerful 596 kW (810 horsepower) electric motor with 960 Nm (708 lb.-ft.) of torque, RM20e is expected to accelerate from zero-100 kph (zero-62 mph) in less than three seconds and zero-200 kph (zero-124 mph) in 9.88 seconds. The RM20e utilises its midship-based motor placement and rear-drive layout to achieve the traction required for this level of acceleration. It combines racecar-like levels of performance, balance, braking and grip while retaining daily-driver quietness, responsiveness and road-going capability.
Its state-of-the-art electrified powertrain ensures zero-emissions combined with thrilling acceleration. As Hyundai boasts an industry-leading variety of electrified-propulsion solutions, including production HEV, PHEV, BEV and FCEV powertrains, a full spectrum of electrified powertrains are available for testing in this high-performance sports car platform.
Hyundai’s recent investment and strategic partnership with Rimac Automobili has facilitated co-development of both BEV and FCEV prototypes. The electrified RM platform will continue to evolve along with the growth of this Rimac partnership. Further, Hyundai Motor Group has set a strategic plan to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by 2025, taking the Hyundai N brand into the forefront of environmental responsibility.
“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,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of product division at Hyundai Motor Group. “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.”
The ‘N’ of Hyundai N stands for Namyang, home to Hyundai’s global R&D centre in Korea since 1995, where the N concept was born, and for the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai’s European Test Centre. The close connection between Namyang and the Nürburgring created the foundation for N, building upon the company’s motorsport experience to bring thrilling road dynamics for those customers who truly love driving. The ‘N’ logo itself embodies this idea, as it symbolizes a classic road course chicane.
Hyundai Motor N’s high-performance technologies are honed at the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife. Each car taking part in Hyundai Motor’s accelerated durability tests will lap the track 420 to 480 times in both wet and dry conditions, simulating over 160,934 km (100,000 miles) of severe driving in just four short weeks. The Nürburgring, with 73 corners and 20.9 km (13 miles) of tarmac, is widely considered to be one of the most challenging tracks in the world, with a heritage that is second to none. It is also a motorsports complex and home to Hyundai Motor’s own 3,600 square meter testing center, which is operated by the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre.