Hyundai is setting its sights on electric racing with an absolute beast: meet the RM20e

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Laugh all you want, but EVs aren’t just ready to take over the streets, but also the world’s track and rally stages; from Ken Block’s electric rallye Ford Fiesta, to Formula E, to Hyundai’s hip-shattering RM20e.

Yes, Hyundai developed and built a race-ready EV that goes like hell.

  • 2020 Hyundai RM20e
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    710
  • Energy:
    Electric
  • 0-60 time:
    2.8 sec. (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What is the RM20e?

2020 Hyundai RM20e
- image 938092

On its full name the Hyundai RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car, this is Hyundai’s first foray into the high-performance all-electric racing. RM, therefore, stands for Racing Midship - the e-motor is mid-mounted and sends all the power to the rear axle.

Also, we’re told Croatian electric supercar maker Rimac was heavily involved in the project. Which is somehow natural, given the $90 million Hyundai and Kia invested in Rimac in 2019.

OK, now tell me about the juicy stuff

2020 Hyundai RM20e
- image 938090

Right.

Hyundai’s N division fitted the RM20e with a 596-kilowatt electric motor (that’s 800 horsepower or 810 PS).

On top of that, torque’s rated at a bone-crushing 960 Newton-meters (708 pound-feet of twist). Hyundai says it expects the RM20e to zap from naught to 62 mph (100 kph) in under three seconds and from zero to 124 mph (200 kph) in a tad under 9.9 seconds.

Feeding the electric motor is a 60-kWh, liquid-cooled battery pack that supports 800-volt fast-charging.

To keep that sort of performance in check while harnessing it efficiently at the same time, Hyundai went for a wild-looking body kit that includes a huge rear diffuser, a towering fixed rear wing, and wider fender flares.

The donor car was actually the Veloster N, but it received quite a long list of mods to accompany the all-electric powertrain, including a single reduction-ratio (1:5.67) gearbox.

2020 Hyundai RM20e
- image 938094

We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see the RM20e in action. See the table below for more specs.

Hyundai N RM20e
Body Two doors, two seats, aluminum front subframe + steel tube and plate rear subframe
Powertrain layout Midship motor, rear drive electric axle
Motor 596 kW (800 hp) and 708 lb-ft of torque
Gearbox Single reduction, ratio 1:5.67
Battery 60 kWh, liquid cooled, 800V fast-charging
Top speed Over 250 kph (155 mph)
ABS Motorsport M5 ABS from Bosch
Size 4319 mm x 1945 mm x 1354 mm, 2672 mm wheelbase
Seats Sabelt, 6-point harness
Ground clearance (minimum) 80 mm
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
About the author

Electrified RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car signifies the electric-based high-performance potential for Hyundai N brand
RM20e based on RM development platform for future N brand products and inspired by the electrified TCR racecar
Electrified RM20e variant produces a blistering 596 kW (810 horsepower) and 960 Nm (708 lb.-ft.) of torque
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26 September 2020 - Hyundai Motor Company today introduced the next-generation electrified RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car to the world at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2020.

The RM nomenclature refers to the N prototype model’s “Racing Midship” rear-drive, midship powertrain configuration, a fundamental design differentiator that yields ideal handling balance and agility from a low polar-moment of inertia.

This RM platform facilitates an engineering “rolling lab” for testing high performance technologies, with outstanding connection to the tarmac at all speeds and driving conditions. This inherent balance and grip is also essential to help connect RM20e’s copious 596 kW (810 horsepower) and 960 Nm (708 lb.-ft.) of torque to variable road surfaces.

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In 2012, Hyundai embarked on project RM to develop and connect new high-performance motorsports technologies with future N models. Since the initiation of project RM, there has been a progressive evolution of the RM series, including: RM14, RM15, RM16 and RM19. In 2019, Hyundai’s first electric race car was developed for the eTCR electric touring car series: ‘Veloster N eTCR’, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. RM models have progressively undergone extensive testing to validate advanced technologies, observe their effective increase in performance, and improve them for application in future N models.

Our new electrified RM20e pushes the proven RM platform forcefully into a new, environmentally-focused decade of the 21st century, stretching the performance envelope of electrification on normal road environments. RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series, and our N engineers continue to garner valuable insights in the arena of zero-emission performance dynamics.

Albert Biermann
President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group
Featuring an explosively powerful 596 kW (810 horsepower) electric motor with 960 Nm (708 lb.-ft.) of torque, RM20e is expected to yield superb blasts from zero-100 kph (zero-62 mph) in less than three seconds and zero-200 kph (zero-124 mph) at 9.88 seconds. RM20e utilizes its midship-based motor placement and rear-drive layout to achieve the traction required for this level of acceleration. RM20e combines racecar-like levels of performance, balance, braking and grip while retaining daily-driver quietness, responsiveness and road-going capability.

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RM20e’s state-of-the-art electrified powertrain ensures zero-emissions combined with thrilling acceleration. As Hyundai boasts an industry-leading variety of electrified-propulsion solutions, including production HEV, PHEV, BEV and FCEV powertrains, a full spectrum of electrified powertrains are available for testing in this high-performance sports car platform.

Hyundai’s recent investment and strategic partnership with Rimac Automobili has facilitated co-development of both BEV and FCEV prototypes. The electrified RM platform will continue to evolve along with the growth of this RIMAC partnership. Further, Hyundai Motor Group has set a strategic plan to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by 2025, taking the Hyundai N brand into the forefront of environmental responsibility.

The RM20e sports car prototype clearly signals future electrified brand aspirations for Hyundai’s performance N brand, moving N into the prestigious genre of supercar-level performance. Moving forward, Hyundai N not only increases drivers’ heartbeats per minute via powerful internal combustion engines, but also through the instantaneous torque and environmental sustainability of reliable electrified powertrains. RM20e proves that N driving excitement will not be compromised, even in electrified model variants.

Thomas Schemera
Executive Vice President and Head of Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group

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The ‘N’ of Hyundai N stands for Namyang, home to Hyundai’s global R&D center in Korea since 1995, where the N concept was born, and for the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai’s European Test Center. The close connection between Namyang and the Nürburgring created the foundation for N, building upon the company’s motorsport experience to bring thrilling road dynamics for those customers who truly love driving. The ‘N’ logo itself embodies this idea, as it symbolizes a classic road course chicane.

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Hyundai Motor N’s high-performance technologies are honed at the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife. Each car taking part in Hyundai Motor’s accelerated durability tests will lap the track 420 to 480 times in both wet and dry conditions, simulating over 160,934 km (100,000 miles) of severe driving in just four short weeks. The Nürburgring, with 73 corners and 20.9 km (13 miles) of tarmac, is widely considered to be one of the most challenging tracks in the world, with a heritage that is second to none. It is also a motorsports complex and home to Hyundai Motor’s own 3,600 square meter testing center, which is operated by the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center.

RM20e video can also be viewed on the company’s official worldwide YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/hyundainworldwide) or official website (http://globalpr.hyundai.com).

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RM20e (Hyundai N Brand Prototype) Specifications
Concept
Midship, rear-drive high-performance sports prototype
Electrified powertrain

Body Configuration
Two-seat, two-door coupe (Veloster N body-in-white)
(Aluminum extrusion front subframe)
(Steel tube and plate rear subframe)

Powertrain Layout
Midship motor
Rear Drive Electric axle

Aerodynamics
Front splitter
Large wing spoiler
Rear air diffuser

Motor
800V motor and inverter technology
596 kW (4 x 148 kW) peak power (20-second interval)
960 Nm (4 x 240 Nm) peak torque
(810 Horsepower and 708 lb.-ft. Torque equivalent

Gearbox
Single reduction ratio 1:5.67
Straight-cut gears (Spur)

Battery
Energy: 60 kWh; peak power: 600 kW
Nominal voltage: 605 V; peak voltage: 705 V
Liquid-flooded battery-module technology
800V fast-charging capability

Top Speed
> 250 KPH (> 155 MPH)
* speed limited for public road driving

Suspension Type
(Front) MacPherson / (Rear) Double-Wishbone
(Adjustable hard points and geometry)

Dampers
Conventional gas-pressure dampers

Brake
6-piston (front) / 4-piston (rear)

Parking Brake
Mechanical type, in rear

ABS System
Motorsport ABS M5 (Bosch)
* Not valid for public roads

Steering Assist
Rack-mounted motor-driven power steering

Steering Wheel Design
Veloster N TCR design (with paddle shifters)

Overall Dimensions (mm)
4319 (length) x 1945 (width) x 1354 (height) /
2672 (wheelbase)

Interior
Sabelt® sport seats, 6-point safety harness system
E-drive dedicated instrument cluster

Overhang (mm)
899 (front) / 748 (rear)

Minimum Ground Clearance
80 mm

Tires
(Front) 265/35R19, (Rear) 305/30R20

Wheels
19” X 10” (front) / 20” X 11” (rear)
One-piece lightweight forged aluminum alloy wheels
Larger, flared wheel-housing design

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