Hyundai Motorsport has presented its first electric racing car at the IAA. The all-electric Veloster N ETCR was specially developed for the new ETCR racing series, which will start in 2020. Hyundai also presented a concept to serve as a design template for future electric models.
The electric racing car has little in common with the large-series Veloster: the Veloster N ETCR is fully electric and has a mid-mounted rear-wheel drive engine in accordance with ETCR regulations – both new to the motorsport department at Hyundai, based in Alzenau. However, Hyundai is keeping a low profile on the technical data of the drive and the battery. In the future, however, road cars should also benefit from the racing car technology: “As part of Hyundai Motorsport’s role as a development centre for high-performance cars, all learnings from the Veloster N ETCR will be shared with Hyundai’s global R&D facility in Namyang, South Korea,” writes the company.
“Through our successful Customer Racing division, we have spent many years honing our skills in touring car racing,” says Thomas Schemera, Hyundai’s Product Manager. “ETCR is the natural next step in our journey, and one that aligns perfectly to Hyundai’s global strategy for electric vehicle production.”
Development began in November 2018, with the first shakedown of the prototype taking place in August 2019. An intensive testing program by Hyundai Motorsport’s experienced engineers is planned for the end of September.
This will allow the Veloster N ETCR to hit the (closed) roads much earlier than the second electric novelty at Hyundai’s stand, even though it may have a greater impact on future production cars. The electric concept with the simple name “45” is intended to set the design direction for the brand’s electric vehicles.
The name derives from the Hyundai Pony Coupé Concept introduced 45 years ago. A look into the past is crucial for the future, says Hyundai. The angular 45 of the 2019 vintage also owes its name in part to the 45 degree angles at the front and rear, which form a diamond-shaped silhouette – which “anticipates the design direction of future EV models”.
A nice detail of the electric study: an LED strip at the bottom of the door allows the driver to intuitively see how the battery is charged when boarding. In addition to this nice gimmick, the concept car also incorporates numerous cameras, for example, which are hardly visible from the outside. The camera system should enable autonomous driving functions.
The large grille radiator grille at the front, together with integrated lighting, is intended to visually ensure a high recognition value of the electric Hyundais – apart from the independent fuel cell car Nexo, the battery electric cars Ioniq and Kona are based on combustion or hybrid platforms and differ optically from their sister models only in details such as a closed radiator grille.
The fact that Hyundai’s electric models will soon undergo a major upheaval was already announced on Monday: on the sidelines of its participation in the Ionity fast charging network, Hyundai announced that the new electric cars would be equipped with an 800-volt battery from 2021. This will make the wiring in the car thinner and lighter, and higher charging capacities will also be possible. Ionity charging stations currently offer up to 350 kW. Hyundai did not announce which models would first use the new 800-volt architecture.