Hyundai develops new high performance concept cars for N sub-brand
BMW has M. Lexus has F. Fiat-Chrysler has SRT. Mercedes has AMG. Now Hyundai is showing us the power of N. The Korean automaker will put focus on its performance sub-brand at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, shining the spotlight on three high-performance projects.
Hyundai initially announced the N sub-brand when it launched the i20 WRC back in December 2013, but it will hold a more thorough coming out party in Frankfurt. The new 2016 i20 WRC will be there, as will an all-new Vision Gran Turismo show car and a mid-engined Veloster track concept.
Hyundai is saving the details on the i20 WRC and Vision GT for Frankfurt, but we do know a little bit about the Veloster-based RM15 (Racing Midship 2015) concept because it was first revealed at the Seoul Motor Show back in April. The details below are the ones released at that time and may or may not get tweaked before Frankfurt.
A successor to the 2014 RM Veloster, the rear wheel-drive RM15 track car features a 2.0-liter Theta T-GDI engine secured transversely between the two-seat cabin and rear axle. The mid-engine layout helps distribute the concept's weight in a 43:57 front:rear ratio and promises a much sportier drive than the front-engined production Veloster. The four-cylinder engine puts out 295 hp (220 kW) and 282 lb-ft (383 Nm) of torque.
Hyundai N cuts some 430 lb (195 kg) by using an aluminum spaceframe dressed in carbon fiber body panels, putting weight at 2,778 lb (1,260 kg). The body is reinforced with a WRC-inspired roll cage and features an aerodynamics kit with big rear wing and large side intakes. Hyundai estimates a 4.7-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h).
As cool as a mid-engined Veloster track car is, the fledgling N nameplate should get its biggest boost in brand recognition from the N 2025 Vision Grand Turismo. Hyundai follows Chevy and SRT in creating a futuristic race car for the popular Gran Turismo franchise, and the car looks like it could be one of the most memorable of the Frankfurt show.
No real details yet, but the teaser pictures show a mean set of LED headlights and taillights, an hourglass figure with large, arched fenders, and a central cockpit with an aerodynamic fin coming off it. It'll be nice to see a proper show car before the N 2025 gets beamed into the virtual PlayStation world.
Lastly, Hyundai will show a prototype of the new-generation i20 WRC. That car will make its racing debut at the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship opener at Rallye Monte Carlo slated for January.
Hyundai kicked off testing of the new i20 WRC last September, and it has been hard at work further developing it ever since. It originally planned to compete with the new car this season but later pushed the debut back to 2016, leaving the outgoing i20 WRC to finish out the 2015 season.
Gizmag will be on the floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show starting on September 15. We'll bring you more details about Hyundai N and its cars, along with all the other show highlights.