Hyundai N Halo Car Confirmed as "Something Nobody Expects"
Will it be a mid-engined production version of the RM16 Concept?by Kirby, on
After months of speculation, Hyundai has confirmed what we’ve been thinking about all this time: a standalone flagship sports car from the N performance division is coming. It’s still unclear what kind of car we can expect, but a high-ranking Hyundai executive confirmed that the Korean automaker is already working on a halo model for the N division, adding that it’s going to be a car that “nobody expects from Hyundai.” Interesting things are afoot over at Hyundai’s new performance brand. A halo car is coming; we just don’t know what it’s going to look like or how it’s going to be packaged. Then again, the RM16 concept is probably a good basis for what we might expect.
When Hyundai decided to launch the N division, a halo car was the first thought in everybody’s minds. It was an easy connection to make considering that “performance” sits at the heart of the division’s ethos. The N brand’s first offerings — the i30N, most notably — didn’t fit into the mold of a halo model. But rumors of a flagship have persisted since the division’s creation, hitting overdrive when the RM16 N Concept was unveiled in 2016.
Spy shots of a prototype that looks like the RM16 N have been spotted, too, feeding speculation that this could be the N division’s flagship model. So, is it?
Not quite, so says Thomas Schemera, Hyundai’s executive VIP of high-performance vehicles. Schemera didn’t explicitly confirm or deny the RM16 N prototype’s role in the division’s plans, but he did confirm that a flagship model is coming. "Behind the scenes, we are working hard on a ’halo model’ – as a flagship model for the N brand,” Schemera told AutoRAI.net in a recent interview. “This is going to be a great machine, something nobody expects from Hyundai, something really exotic.”
Interesting comments from a man who knows more than anybody about Hyundai’s performance car plans for the N division. Schemera understandably held off from revealing more details than he should, but he did make it a point to establish the big picture: a flagship model for the N brand is already under development.
At this point, it’s not clear what kind of car the engineers are working on or if the RM16 prototype has anything to do with it.
Schemera did hint that the flagship performance car will inherit some similarities to the RM16 concept, specifically in terms of the car’s general design and engineering direction.
"Whether it will be a limited edition or not, we can unfortunately neither confirm nor deny,” he said. In any case, it will be a car in the super sports segment. Think of the Hyundai RM16 and you have a bit of an idea of what is possible.”
Given his comments, we can, at the very least, take out a performance sedan in the mold of the Kia Stinger and Genesis G70 out of the equation. Is it going to be a mid-engine hot hatch or is it going to be a full-blown all-electric supercar with all the cursory bells and whistles? Either way, it’s exciting times over at Hyundai. What comes out of these exciting times should establish the legitimacy of the N performance brand.
Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai RM16 Concept.
Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.