Hyundai’s 960Nm torque monster

Hyundai Motor Company revealed its next-generation electrified RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2020. The RM nomenclature refers to the N prototype model’s ‘Racing Midship’ rear-drive, midship powertrain configuration, which Hyundai describes as “a fundamental design differentiator that yields ideal handling balance and agility from a low polar-moment of inertia”.

According to Hyundai, this RM platform facilitates an engineering ‘rolling lab’ for testing high performance technologies, with outstanding connection to the tarmac at all speeds and driving conditions. This inherent balance and grip are also essential to help connect RM20e’s copious 596kW and 960Nm of torque to variable road surfaces.

In 2012, Hyundai embarked on project RM to develop and connect new high-performance motorsports technologies with future N models. Since the initiation of project RM, there has been a progressive evolution of the RM series, including: RM14, RM15, RM16 and RM19. In 2019, Hyundai’s first electric race car was developed for the eTCR electric touring car series: ‘Veloster N eTCR’, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. RM models have progressively undergone extensive testing to validate advanced technologies, observe their effective increase in performance, and improve them for application in future N models.

RM20e is expected to achieve 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds and 0-200 km/h in 9.88 seconds

“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. “RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series, and our N engineers continue to garner valuable insights in the arena of zero-emission performance dynamics.”

Hyundai says RM20e is expected to achieve 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds and 0-200 km/h in 9.88 seconds. RM20e uses its midship-based motor placement and rear-drive layout to achieve the traction required for this level of acceleration. The company says RM20e combines racecar-like levels of performance, balance, braking and grip while retaining daily-driver quietness, responsiveness, and road-going capability.

Hyundai says a full spectrum of electrified powertrains are available for testing in this platform, including production HEV, PHEV, EV, and FCEV powertrains.

Hyundai’s recent investment and strategic partnership with Rimac Automobili has facilitated co-development of EV and FCEV prototypes. The electrified RM platform will continue to evolve along with the growth of this RIMAC partnership. Hyundai Motor Group has set a strategic plan to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by 2025, taking the Hyundai N brand into the forefront of environmental responsibility.

“The RM20e sports car prototype clearly signals future electrified brand aspirations for Hyundai’s performance N brand, moving N into the prestigious genre of supercar-level performance,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of product division at Hyundai Motor Group. “Moving forward, Hyundai N not only increases drivers’ heartbeats per minute via powerful internal combustion engines, but also through the instantaneous torque and environmental sustainability of reliable electrified powertrains. RM20e proves that N driving excitement will not be compromised, even in electrified model variants.”

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Darren House

Darren House has been involved with motoring and motorsport media for more than four decades, working as a photographer, journalist, editor, public relations manager and marketing manager. He has produced material for numerous publications, including Auto Action, Chequered Flag, Motorsport News, Performance Street Car, Super Ford, Street Machine, Fast Fours & Rotaries, Hot Fours & Rotaries, Motorsport Legends and Truth Sport.

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