The 810-hp RM20e is the most exciting Hyundai ever
And yes, it's an electric prototype
In my book, the 'best-performing brand of the decade award' goes to Hyundai, hands down. Actually, this award doesn't exist, I just made it up, but my point still stands because the Korean manufacturer went from making tragic hatchbacks to an entire range of perfectly good cars in just over a decade. They're also doing a great job on the electric front and this is their latest creation, the mad RM20e.
The car, officially known as RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car, is designed as a flagship product to showcase what the electric-based, high-performance 'N' division of Hyundai can do and it takes its inspiration from the electric race car that Hyundai is currently using in the TCR series.
The name RM stands for Racing Midship, because the car is rear-wheel drive with a midship powertrain configuration. Meanwhile, the 'N' nomenclature represents two things. The Namyang R&D Center in South Korea, where the first N performance car was launched in 1995, and the Nürburgring, where each Hyundai N model is tested to make sure it's as good as it can get.
The two-seater, two-door coupe is built on an aluminium chassis and features a front splitter, a massive wing spoiler and an equally big rear air diffuser for improved aerodynamic abilities. The electric unit is 'fuelled' by a 60 kWh battery pack with 800V fast-charging capability. The interior is 100 % track-focused with Sabelt bucket seats with 6-point harness and a tailor made instrument cluster. It's powered by an all-electric unit putting out 810 hp and 708 lb-ft of torque, which means that 0-60 is dealt with in under 3 seconds and 0-124 mph (200 kph) only takes 9.88 seconds.
Hyundai is one of only two car companies with ICE, hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars in their line-up* (the other one being Honda**) and the company has recently partnered up with Rimac, which is quickly becoming Europe's leader in battery technology. They say they want to introduced at least 44 'eco-friendly' models by 2025 - by which they mean (I presume) either hybrid or BEV/FCEV - and if this is the sort of car they've got in mind, well, I'm game.
*production cars only
**Toyota has the Mirai, which is a hydrogen car, and a bunch of hybrids but amazingly the company doesn't sell any BEVs (battery-powered all-electric)