July 15 is N day for Hyundai, and at the South Korean automaker, the N stands for performance. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the full disclosure of the Ioniq 5 N we wanted, but Hyundai confirmed that it would be coming in 2023. And that’s okay, because we have two new electric concept cars ready to steal our hearts.
Say hello to the N Vision 74 and RN22e, two very different “rolling lab” electric concepts created with the sole purpose of exploring the future of high performance. A swanky retro wedge is the N Vision 74 (bottom left), borrowing heavily from another Hyundai concept car called the Pony from the 1970s. The RN22e (bottom right) sports an Ioniq 6 body but Hyundai is interested in no call this the Ioniq 6 N. However, the automaker says it could see a future EV N model. Take what you like.
Hyundai N Vision 74
Technically, the N Vision 74 is a hybrid vehicle but you won’t find a petrol engine under its edgy body. Hyundai combines battery power with a hydrogen fuel cell – the most advanced fuel cell the automaker has ever built. As such, the N Vision 74 pays homage not only to the 1974 Pony concept design, but also to the N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo fuel cell concept from 2015.
What does the combination of hydrogen fuel cell and battery power do for an EV? Hyundai says the system offers better cooling efficiency. Incorporating a fuel cell also allows for shorter refueling/filling stops, provided you can find a hydrogen fuel station. For performance, the N Vision 74 uses two motors at the rear wheels alone, producing over 671 horsepower (500 kilowatts) and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters) of torque. This setup also uses precise torque vectoring for better cornering, and with the battery and fuel cell charged, Hyundai claims a range of over 373 miles (600 kilometers).
Hyundai is a bit coy when it comes to the possible Ioniq 6 N, saying that the RN22e is “a glimpse of the upcoming EV N.” The standard model was only revealed recently, but its swoopy shape certainly makes a great foundation for something sportier. In concept form, the RN22e coincidentally produces the same 577 hp (430 kW) of power as the Kia EV6 GT. Thus, the emphasis here is not on extracting more power, but gathering it to create corner-eating monsters.
To that end, Hyundai says the RN22e is the first true high-performance testbed for its E-GMP platform. The concept car will explore torque vectoring and power distribution while also looking for ways to reduce weight. One cannot do fast laps on a race track without upgraded brakes, which is why the RN22e sported four-piston calipers. And The Ioniq 6’s aerodynamic properties are also under scrutiny for performance applications, enhanced here by a unique fascia and other motorsports-inspired components such as a large wing at the rear. Inside, engineers are also experimenting with different artificial sounds for a more engaging experience.
“The RN22e and N Vision 74 played an important role in the strategic development of our entire product range, particularly our high-performance electric vehicles,” said Thomas Schemera, Hyundai executive vice president and head of customer experience. “The rolling lab represents the continuous development of our state-of-the-art technology. This unique approach sets us up for tomorrow’s challenges by empowering us to push ourselves to the limit.”
Will any of the concepts be successfully produced as we see here? There’s no indication that either will see production, though the hot Ioniq 6 N seems almost guaranteed at some point.