Hyundai has showcased its new N sub-brand at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The carmaker says its N cars will focus on performance, with new powertrains and lightweight materials. Its first models include the Generation i20 WRC rally car, and the RM15 and N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo concepts.
Perhaps the most exciting of the N models shown off at the IAA is one that will only exist in the digital realm. Described by Hyundai as the ultimate concept car, the N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo has been designed exclusively for PlayStation's Gran Turismo racing game and is described as looking like a floating jet fighter.
Its powertrain is said to be based on the world's first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell system and kicks out a projected 650 kW (871 hp). The dual fuel cell stacks themselves deliver an estimated 500 kW (670 hp) of that, with the remaining 150 kW (201 hp) produced via regenerative braking. Each wheel of the 2025 Vision Gran Turismo has its own independent motor.
Those lightweight fuel cell stacks and a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic monocoque structure keep the car's weight down to 972 kg (2,142 lb), with the vehicle being designed to have a favorable power-to-weight ratio and a low center of gravity.
The other N concept is the mid-engined two-seater RM15 (Racing Midship 2015), which Hyundai calls an "aggressively-styled high-performance coupe." The firm says that the concept is aimed at delivering balanced performance and increased power, without sacrificing the driving experience, and that it hints at the future direction of the N sub-brand's advanced technologies.
In this case, the technologies employed include a Theta 2.0-liter T-GDI engine that produces 300 PS (221 kW), a six-speed manual transmission and an aluminum space-frame covered by carbon-fiber reinforced plastic body panels.
These lightweight materials keep the weight of the RM15 down to 1,260 kg (2,778 lb), which is reported to make it 195 kg (430 lb) lighter than if an all-steel structure was used. The RM15 also boasts a well-balanced weight distribution of 43 percent to the front and 57 percent to the rear, a low center of gravity and aerodynamic downforce of 124 kg at 200 km/h (273 lb at 124 mph).
The i20 WRC, meanwhile, will compete in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship, hence its name. Hyundai says that it has an optimized weight distribution, an efficient powertrain and enhanced aerodynamics. It's already being tested and is expected to debut at Rally Monte Carlo in January 2016.
In addition to the N car designs unveiled in Frankfurt, Hyundai has also developed a bobsleigh as part of the range. The Hyundai N Bobsleigh 2016 has been designed for the Korean national Bobsleigh team. Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer is used to keep the weight down and wind tunnel aerodynamic testing was carried out to minimize air resistance.
The N models, concepts and technologies are on show at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show.