Hyundai announces its first electric N Performance car will be the Ioniq 5, but all we can think about is this amazing concept it actually displayed.
When is a concept more than just a concept? When the company’s engineers can use the car despite the “what if” styling. To test out the car’s performance and use it to develop go-fast production cars using new powertrains and new ideas.
Hyundai Looks Back at Styling History
That’s exactly what Hyundai has done with the N Vision 74, a retro delight that is a testbed for future powertrains and the next generation of Hyundai’s N performance brand. And it looks like the Group B 1980s rally car that Hyundai never actually built.
The Hyundai N Vision 74 comes, like the Ioniq 5, from the company’s past. The 1974 Turin Motor Show saw the debut of two concept cars from Hyundai — the Pony sedan and the Pony coupe, both penned by legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The sedan made it to production not long after and the coupe disappeared.
But, the coupe concept wasn’t forgotten.
“N Vision 74’s future-oriented design reflects the respect and appreciation we have for the dedication and passion that went into the Pony Coupe concept,” said SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Design Center.
Lee said that the “daring attitude” of the original concept set a tone for Hyundai that continues today.
Can We Get More 1970s Retro Styling?
The most recognizable design detail carried over from 1974 to Vision 74 is the B-pillar. The unique shape and the door panel it leads into are unmistakable from that original concept.
Hyundai has packed it with Ioniq design details as well, including the Parametric Pixel lighting design for the head and tail lights. If the nose looks a little bit DeLorean, it’s actually the other way around. Giugiaro styled both cars, and they use the “folded paper” design language he used throughout the 1970s. But the Pony Coupe came first.
The N Vision 74 goes far beyond that original Pony Concept with massive box flares, solid wheels, and a huge rear wing. It’s a look plucked directly from the height of 1980s rally cars, and we’re here for it.
Big Car, Bigger Performance
The appearance actually helps disguise the size of this car. At 195 inches long, it’s just an inch shorter than the three-row Hyundai Palisade and 7 inches longer than a Santa Fe. Even if you’re not counting the wing, the Vision 74 is a big coupe.
As a rolling lab, the car was designed around a combination hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and a large 62.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Meant for high-performance driving matching the looks, Hyundai says that the dual-power driveline helps improve cooling efficiency as well as performance.
Instead of using two motors to power the front and rear axles, this car puts both on the back to create an electric drift machine. That can use the two motors for torque vectoring, improving handling as well as letting you hang it out.
The fuel cell generates a maximum of 95 kilowatts of electricity to feed the battery. The motors can use up all of that and more, making a maximum output of 671 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.
Hyundai didn’t have acceleration numbers, but any car with that much power will be extremely quick. With 9.3 pounds of hydrogen on board and the battery pack, the car can drive more than 370 miles before needing a fill. Flat-out, it can top 155 miles per hour.
First N Electrics Developed From This Car
Is the car likely to reach series production? Probably not, and Hyundai didn’t really talk about it.
Instead, the car is more about developing actual production Hyundai performance models. It’s about ensuring that the high-performance N brand will be able to offer the same level of racetrack capability when the electric Ioniq 5 N debuts next year that the Veloster and Elantra N models offer today.
“These rolling lab projects are great assets to prepare the N’s electrification vision turning into reality,” said N Brand VP Till Wartenberg.