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Hyundai's sporty new N Concepts unveiled

By Maxine Ashford | September 15, 2022

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We were invited to view the company’s N Brand Rolling Lab Concepts which is hardly clear and precise unless you are in the know.

Hyundai's sporty new N Concepts unveiled

Keeping up with all the new platforms, manufacturer’s sub brands and complicated code-named concepts can be an arduous task as we battle to work out what a mix of random upper and lower case letters, numbers and odd prefixes all mean.

And, the situation at Hyundai is just as complex as the rest of the competition. We were invited to view the company’s N Brand Rolling Lab Concepts which is hardly clear and precise unless you are in the know. But hopefully we can shed some light on what it all means, and perhaps more importantly, what the two cars are all about.

Firstly, the N tag. The N sub brand is steeped in racing heritage and is a two-way relationship between motorsport and production cars. It is much more than going out and winning races, it’s about developing knowledge that can be used in road cars for consumers.

That’s when we see the likes of the i30 N, Kona N and other race-inspired cars on our roads. In fact, it was the i30 N that became Hyundai’s first high-performance production car in 2017 and since then, the N has pushed the limits of performance to help customers discover the thrill of driving again. Hyundai believes getting from A to B should never be boring.

Then we get to the ‘Rolling Labs’ title. This is actually quite straight forward. It’s simply the name given to the testing process of the company’s advanced technologies before they are applied to future production models.

So that explains all the jargon. Now onto the two cars – both powerful-looking concepts.

First up is the N Vision 74 – a high-performance hydrogen fuel cell hybrid model that is inspired by both design and technology.

With its looks, it pays homage to the Hyundai Pony Coupe concept from 1974 developed by legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. It went on to be developed in prototype form, although it never quite made it to full production.

N Vision 74 measures 4,952mm in length, is 1,995mm wide and 1,331mm tall with a wheelbase stretching 2,905mm. It is the first high-performance rolling lab built on the most advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that Hyundai N has ever created. 

Featuring a dynamic profile, designers have elevated the daring attitude of the Pony Concept into a future Hyundai design. The result is quite awesome 

Moving inside, there is a driver-centric cockpit with a neat blend of heritage and modern design cues, such as a digital display cluster and analogue buttons.

With a fuel cell system and battery electric combination in an all-new layout, the cooling efficiency is improved, while the two separate power sources can be used depending on different driving conditions.

With 680PS and over 500Nm of torque, the N Vision 74 has a top speed exceeding 160mph and a driving range of 372 miles. Refuelling takes just five minutes.

What this car does guarantee in abundance is pure driving pleasure. And although, we were only viewing a static model, its dynamic design is just a hint at what the performance will be like.

Next up is the RN22e which takes the IONIQ 6-based design and adds racetrack-ready performance to the mix via the Korean company’s E-GMP platform. It is Hyundai N’s first rolling lab based on that platform.

It has been developed to deliver exceptional cornering ability thanks to corner carving differential. There are 3D printed parts for weight reduction and improved rigidity, and it is equipped with all-wheel drive.

There has been an emphasis on cooling and braking to enhance endurance and racetrack capability.

RN22e also features N Sound+ which generates sound from the interior and exterior speakers for a dynamic driving feel. The N e-shift function integrates the vibration and shifting feel with N Sound+

Taking the IONIQ 6’s sleek design, RN22e further maximises performance by adding motorsport-inspired details. These include lower ground clearance and emphasised haunches giving the car a wider, sturdier stance. The lower bumper has also been redesigned for a sportier appearance and all these factors assist with aerodynamics and cooling.

The RN22e has 430kW of power (front and rear combined), 740Nm of torque (front and rear combined) and boasts a top speed that exceeds 155mph. Charging the 77.4kWh battery takes less than 18 minutes from 10 to 80 per cent on a rapid charger.

We were informed that if the IONIQ 6 N ever goes into production, it will look very similar to the RN22e.

These cars were static models, but there are at least two RN22e and one N Vision 74 that are fully operational prototypes and both cars have delivered thrilling performances on the race track.

Although neither the N Vision 74 or the RN22e have been confirmed for commercial production, they are a clear insight into the workings at Hyundai with its vision for the future. The long-term outlook may be a lot cleaner moving forward, but thankfully it’s still just as exciting.

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