Present and future of Hyundai Motorsport
At recent Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai introduced a few interesting models which showcased how the future of their motorsport division will look like. First model is 2016 i20 WRC, the the real and existing rally car which is under testing process and preparations for next World Rally Championship season. Next is RM15 concept car, which shows design clues of some future racing Hyundais. The last is N 2025 Vision Grand Turismo, a mix between a real car and a concept. Well, it’s a real car, but only in virtual world, because it’s made for Gran Turismo, the most popular racing game in the world.
All three models represent Hyundai’s new high performance sub-brand N. For now, N exists only through the Hyundai’s presence in World Rally Championship, but for the future, Korean company promised more racing and high performance road cars.
The 2016 i20 WRC is based on the New Generation i20. The car revealed in Frankfurt is the first prototype for the vehicle that will compete in the next season of WRC. Only a few days after the Motor Show disguised car was caught at testing, with Kevin Abbring at the wheel. The new car is still in testing, engineering and development regime but it will be finished soon, because it must be ready for the start of 2016 season at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January.
Not everything is going according to plan, because previously the new car was expected to be based on the three-door i20 model and to debut this season. However, Hyundai Motorsport announced in April that it would be delayed until 2016 due to a hold-up in the production of the road vehicle. As a result the German-based squad switched its focus to the five-door version, which Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo, Hayden Paddon and Kevin Abbring have been testing.
Hyundai RM15 concept car, displayed at the Show represents the company’s passion for performance and suggests how the Hyundai N driver-focused technologies could come into production. Its design is based on last year’s Veloster RM Concept with further use of advanced vehicle technologies and materials. The Hyundai RM15 has an aluminum core structure with carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body panels in order to reduce vehicle weight to 1260 kg. Compared to the Veloster RM, the new RM15 also has a more evenly balanced weight distribution, with the center of gravity sitting just 491mm from the ground. The RM15 features a series of modifications that boost performance, handling and efficiency.
The RM15’s highlight is the Theta 2.0-liter T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine mounted transversely behind the two-seater cabin and ahead of the rear axle. The four-cylinder unit produces 296 hp at 6,000 rpm and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The engine also produces 383 Nm of torque at 2,000rpm, allowing the RM15 to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds.
The most interesting concept surely is the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo. This concept connects sustainable technology and race car design. Through this new concept, Hyundai is engaging further with its fans and the online community by making Hyundai’s passion and performance accessible to millions of people around the world. Everybody could buy and drive this car exclusively in PlayStation’s Gran Turismo video game.
The Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo powertrain is based on the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell system. The total system output is 650 kW (871 HP), with the dual fuel cell stacks providing 500 kW (670 hp), and the super capacitor system generating additional 150 kW (201 hp) by using energy regeneration when braking. This remarkable power is delivered through four high-powered independent in-wheel motors, which provide uncompromised traction.
The compact, lightweight fuel cell stacks and rigid CFRP monocoque structure help to keep weight down to 972 kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio that rivals the most exotic supercars in the world. Combined with a low centre of gravity, this power and performance sets the car up to perform on the most challenging of race tracks, encapsulating the thrilling premise of N cars.
Although the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo is based on eco-performance technology, the noise from its powertrain tells a different story. Air blower’s turbine that spins at 200,000rpm, the frequency of the fuel cell stacks, the sound from the hydrogen cooling system and the high-pitched in-wheel motor combine to produce a distinct race car roar.
Photo: Hyundai Motorsport