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 manufacturer’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 division’s engineers are using a TCR chassis as a powertrain mule, which is being developed with Rimac alongside a fully electric ETCR model.
Rimac’s involvement comes following Hyundai’s £70 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. Rimac’s hardware will also be used in Hyundai’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 company’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 Hyundai’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 wouldn’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 it’s all building up to something rather exciting – and we’ve only three weeks till Hyundai’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 – as we think it will – don’t expect the speculation regarding Hyundai’s new halo hybrid to die down anytime soon.