Hyundai Taps Rimac, Makes 810hp Electric Hot Hatch

If you woke up this morning and immediately thought what this world needs is a mid-engine Hyundai with 810 horsepower, then we have good news for you.

In partnership with Rimac, the South Korean giant has produced this electrified RM20e, a prototype said to be pointing the way to the next generation of Hyundai’s N performance chops.

The RM20e is said to be an engineering ‘rolling lab’, one which will be used for testing high-performance technologies. Hyundai has been using cars with the RM designation as testbeds for nearly a decade, developing and connecting hi-po tech with future production cars bearing the N badge. This effort utilizes its midship-based 800V motor, making 810 horsepower and 708 lb.-ft of torque, and rear-drive layout to propel the RM20e to 60 mph from rest in under 3 seconds. A 60 kWh battery is on board.

“Our new electrified RM20e pushes the proven RM platform forcefully into a new, environmentally-focused decade of the 21st century, stretching the performance envelope of electrification on normal road environments,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group, presumably while completing a watercolor of endangered polar bears.  “RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series.”

In terms of the real world, this means that future N variants of Hyundai models will likely be juiced with electrons, a revelation that should surprise no one given recent trends in other corners of the performance segment. In this vein, Hyundai has set a strategic plan to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by 2025, building on their partnership with Rimac and the co-development of BEV and FCEV prototypes.

In case you fell asleep in class, N at Hyundai stands for Namyang, home to Hyundai’s global R&D center in Korea since 1995, where the N concept was born, and for the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai’s European Test Center. The consonant has been affixed to the Veloster to great effect; anyone who’s driven the thing will surely speak of its pop-bang-fizz exhaust note and great handling.

The compact Elantra currently has an N-Line variant (think N-Lite) powered by a turbocharged 1.6L making 200hp. It is widely expected a true N version of the Elantra will appear in 2021 packing a 275hp turbocharged 2.0L plucked from the aforementioned Veloster N.

[Images: Hyundai]

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