Hyundai is the latest automaker investing in Croatian electric supercar company Rimac in exchange for EV expertise, with the latter saying the plan is for it to help Hyundai develop a mid-motor electric sports car. Boy, has Hyundai come a long way.
Hyundai and Kia are spending the Euro equivalent of nearly $90 million to create a “technology partnership” with Rimac, designers of the absurd 1,914 horsepower C Two, the supercar maker wrote in a press release today. Roughly $72 million will come from Hyundai’s pockets and the rest will come from Kia.
While the release mentions that the partnership is a way to accelerate Hyundai Motor Group’s “transition towards Clean Mobility,” it seems to focus more on fun than planet-saving efficiency, discussing how the three brands will work together on a mid-motor sports car to be part of Hyundai’s high-performance “N” brand. From Rimac:
Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Rimac will work closely together to develop an electric version of Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle.
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While the high-performance fuel cell vehicle is interesting in its own right, I’m most excited about the midship sports car.
If you’re wondering what exactly Rimac is talking about when it references “Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports car,” here’s one clue. Jump back to the 2014 Busan Motor Show in South Korea, where Hyundai revealed the “RM Concept.” It was a rear-wheel drive, mid-engine, ~300 horsepower Veloster that Hyundai followed up the following year in Seoul with the RM 15 Concept shown above.
Last year, it became clear that Hyundai’s mid-engine ambitions were no joke when the head of Hyundai’s N performance division told Top Gear:
“Like the Racing Midship, which we’ve done three versions of. We are still working on these cars, trying different things. Maybe someday we will have such a car. There is no decision yet, but it could happen.”
So Hyundai seems serious about this midship vehicle, and now it’s joining forces with a company that builds nearly 2,000 horsepower EVs. I’m excited.