Over the summer, Hyundai revealed the RN22e, an all-wheel-drive Ioniq 6-based electric prototype that makes 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque. While Hyundai described the RN22e as a “rolling lab” that it planned to use to further develop its E-GMP platform, it also unofficially previews the upcoming Ioniq 6 N. That’s certainly a lot of power, but does it actually drive well?
Recently, Hyundai allowed Wheels Australia to get behind the wheel of the RN22e and not just for a drive around a parking lot. They took it to an actual race track and got to actually test it out in all its tire-roasting, tail-happy glory. Based on the driver’s reaction, it’s an incredibly fun car to drive.
That’s encouraging to hear because when we drove the Kia EV6 GT with the same powertrain, we were a bit disappointed with the way it handled. It was ridiculously quick, sure, but the chassis and tires didn’t feel up to the task of handling its near-three-ton curb weight. In our review, we said, “The EV6 GT doesn’t exactly embarrass itself, but it never feels settled or planted. On top of that, the Goodyear Eagle F1 tires scream their guts out at the slightest whiff of aggressive turn-in or throttle application. Kind of like the Kia Stinger, the EV6 GT is a quick, powerful grand-ish touring machine, but not a sports car.”
At least in stripped-out racing prototype form, the RN22e looks much better-suited for track duty. As it should. And if you like drifting, this thing is more than happy to hang the rear end out despite being all-wheel drive. Hopefully, when the Ioniq 6 N shows up, it will handle more like the RN22e than the EV6 GT.
Interestingly, the prototype is also programmed with Hyundai’s fake DCT tune that we covered recently. At the time, it sounded completely unnecessary, and we were skeptical that it would actually add anything to the driving experience. But the impression the video gives is that it actually does. Maybe there actually is something to the whole “fake shift points in an EV” thing?