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Hyundai RM20e hints at new green mid-ship sportscar

Hyundai teases the green future of its N performance brand with RM20e

29 Sep 2020

HYUNDAI Motor Company (HMC) has given the world a taster of a new mid-engined hybrid sportscar in the form of its RM20e Prototype.


Said to convey “the next generation of Hyundai N performance”, the RM20e Prototype points to HMC launching either a mid-ship sportscar or hot hatch in the ilk of the old Renault Clio V6 in the not-so-distant future.


Specifically, the RM nomenclature stands for “Racing Midship” and denotes the rear-drive, mid-engined powertrain configuration, something HMC describes as “a fundamental design differentiator that yields ideal handling balance and agility from a low polar-moment of inertia”.


A dedicated electric vehicle (EV), the RM20e sends all of its 596kW/960Nm to the rear wheels and draws on a 60kWh battery for power.


As a result of all that power, HMC claims the RM20e will dash from 0-100km/h in “less than three seconds” and dispatch 0-200km/h in 9.88 seconds.


The secret to this near-on mind-bending performance lays in HMC’s ongoing partnership and investment in electric hypercar-maker Rimac, with the Korean giant confident that the electrified RM platform will continue to evolve along with the fruitful partnership.


“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,” Hyundai Motor Group head of research and development Albert Biermann said.


“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.”


Using a modified Veloster N body shell, HMC is not only testing the aforementioned electric powertrain but hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains as well as fuel cells (FCEV).


With so many powertrain configurations under consideration and development, it would be anyone’s guess as to what the eventual production car comes armed with, however our bet is on a HEV setup at least to start.


“The RM20e sportscar prototype clearly signals future electrified brand aspirations for Hyundai’s performance N brand, moving N into the prestigious genre of supercar-level performance,” Hyundai Motor Group product division head Thomas Schemera said.


“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.”


It also remains to be seen yet if the production version of the RM20e forms part of the wider Hyundai Motor Group’s plan to launch 44 ‘eco-friendly’ models by 2025 including the N brand, all but confirming the electrified future of performance division.


According to the August round of VFacts data, HMC has sold 39,946 new vehicles in Australia so far this year compared to the 59,244 units shifted over the same period last year.

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