Hybrid Hyundai N mule spotted testing

Hyundai is apparently using a modified Veloster TCR in the development of its hybrid N division halo model, set for launch next year as the tip of manufacturerโ€™s electrification spear. While the firm has remained tight-lipped on details, sightings of a road-legal test car with a part-blanked-off grille and smaller exhaust backs suggestion that N divisionโ€™s engineers are using a TCR chassis as a powertrain mule, which is being developed with Rimac alongside a fully electric ETCR model.

Rimacโ€™s involvement comes following Hyundaiโ€™s ยฃ70 million investment into the Croatian performance EV specialist, which will pass on technical knowledge and hardware and help the Hyundai/Kia produce two electrified cars next year. The first is predicted to be a performance model developed from the Veloster-based RM16 concept. Rimacโ€™s hardware will also be used in Hyundaiโ€™s ETCR car, which is also to be based on the Veloster platform and could inspire a following fully electric model.

The latter may be several years away, but the hybrid halo is set for arrival in 2020 following comments from Albert Biermann, the companyโ€™s head of R&D. With such a short development window left, it seems likely that the car will use a boosted, mid-mounted version of Hyundaiโ€™s existing 2.0-litre T-GDI engine - much like the 300hp RM16 concept - coupled to a hybrid powertrain that drives the front wheels. With such a setup it wouldnโ€™t be difficult to imagine a 450hp+ total output, supplied to the ground via all-wheel drive and enabling a near 50/50 weight distribution thanks to the split locations of the combustion and electric hardware.

Potentially then itโ€™s all building up to something rather exciting โ€“ and weโ€™ve only three weeks till Hyundaiโ€™s ETCR car is revealed at the Frankfurt motor show, by which time we should know the true identity of this test car. If the Frankfurt car comes without that exhaust โ€“ as we think it will โ€“ donโ€™t expect the speculation regarding Hyundaiโ€™s new halo hybrid to die down anytime soon.

P.H. O'meter

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