The Hyundai N halo car is coming with Rimac power and a mission to shake the industry at its core

For the better part of a decade (since 2014, to be specific), Hyundai has been teasing us with a stand-alone N-branded halo car that would feature a mid-engine configuration and hatchback body. We’ve seen four concepts – the RM14, RM15, RM16, and most recently, the RM19 – and now we’ve received even more information that helps us paint a clear picture of what we can expect from the N halo car and when we can expect to see it. The future is here folks, and Hyundai’s affordable sports car isn’t far off. Here’s everything we know about it!

The Hyundai N Halo Car Won’t Look All That Similar to the RM Concepts

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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While the various Hyundai RM Concepts have all evolved to one extent or the other, all loosely based on the Veloster road-going car, the real mid-engined N Halo car won’t look much like the various concepts. There’s still a possibility that it could be loosely based on the Veloster, but even then, the track-inspired aero will be ditched to make way for road-going aero enhancements that are far less aggressive. The big spoiler may make its way into production, as will a diffuser and front splitter, but those massive wheel arches will be left in the concept world. As a halo car, though, something else is much more likely.

the Hyundai N Halo Car Will Probably Be a Stand-Alone Model

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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While I mentioned the slight chance that the N halo car would still be based on the Veloster to some extent, it’s more likely that Hyundai is going to make a stand-alone model that rides on a bespoke platform and features a bespoke body. The N halo car will be to Hyundai what the Mercedes-AMG GT is to Mercedes. It’ll just be positioned in a friendlier, more affordable price bracket. There could still be some TCR and Veloster cues in there, but for the most part, the Hyundai N halo car should be a model that stands all on its own, and that’s precisely what Hyundai needs.

The i30 N TCR Engine Will Make It’s Way to the Hyundai N Halo Carl

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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When Hyundai showcased the RM 19 Concept in 2019, it was the most extreme evolution yet with a lot of goodness taken from the i30 N TCR, including the turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline-four. In 2018, that very engine was massaged to deliver 344 horsepower (257 kW) and about 340 pound-feet of torque (460 Nm.) The I 30 N TCR tipped the scales at 2,788 pounds (1,265 kg), including the driver.

2018 Hyundai i30 N TCR specifications
Engine turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline-four
Horsepower 344 HP
Torque 340 LB-FT
Weight 2,788 lbs

You can expect this same engine to make its way into the mid-engined Hyundai N halo car, however, its state of tune is still a big mystery. We would love to say that the engine will make its way into the production model untouched, but there’s a good chance that it could be tuned down just a bit. I know it sounds like bad news, but there’s a silver lining here.

The Hyundai N Halo Car Will Feature Rimac Electrification

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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According to Cars Guide, The Hyundai N Halo car will, in fact, come complete with a Rimac-built electric motor to provide a significant increase in power. Now, don’t go expected the N halo car to pump out 1,000 horsepower, but pair the 350 horsepower TCR engine behind the front seats with a 250-horsepower Rimac electric motor on the front axle and you’ll have a 500-horsepower Veloster with an appetite for putting competitors like the Porsche Cayman, for example, to shame.

Rimac Electrification Means AWD is a Certainty

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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With Rimac providing electric tech for the Hyundai N halo car, there’s more than just some extra power and instant torque coming to the table. This will give Hyundai the ability to create an impeccably tuned AWD system that will allow its new halo car to maintain sure footing in even the hardest corners. And, since we all know that electric motors are very controllable, it wouldn’t be that hard for a dynamic torque distribution system to come into play. That means that, with the right programming, Hyundai will be able to practically eliminate problems like over- and under-steer all on the fly with some cool computer magic. Word has it an eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission will be in charge of shifting duties.

The Hyundai N Halo Car Will Fight Some Series Rivals

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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As a standalone halo car, Hyundai is extending its aim into practically untouched territory. One of the N halo car’s primary competitors will be the Porsche 718 Cayman. It’ll also have to take heat from the Alpine A110, the Lotus Elise, the Audi TT, and maybe even models like the BMW M4, and Jaguar F-Type. If Hyundai really delivers some impressive power, it could even take on the Mercedes-AMG GT, and that would make for a fascinating scenario, to say the least. Where its real competition will lie, however, boils down to its final configuration. For that, we have to wait a little bit longer but don’t expect Hyundai to take it easy as it steps into a new segment.

Hyundai and Rimac Could Surprise the Hell Out of Us

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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Hyundai and Kia invested $130 million when they bought stake in Rimac, and for that kind of money, the Korean automakers can ask for just about anything they want. As I said before, don’t expect the Hyundai N halo car to be a crazy supercar with 1,000 horsepower, but Rimac has the battery and motor technology to do some pretty wild things. The Rimac C_Two, for example, has an impressive 1,888 horsepower (1,408 kW) and nearly 1,700 pound-feet of torque (2,300 Nm.) In Rimac’s beast of a car, we’re talking about a 0-60 mph sprint of 1.85 seconds and as much as 400 miles of range (650 km, as reported by the company.)

Rimac C_Two Performance And Powertrain
Battery Pack Capacity 120 kWh
Range Per Charge 340 miles
Electric Motors four
Combined Horsepower 1,888
Torque 1,696 pound-feet
0-60 mph 1.85 seconds
Top Speed 260 mph

The Hyundai N halo car won’t come close to these figures, but it serves as proof of what Hyundai has managed to tap in to. My estimates of a 200 or 250-horsepower electric motor isn’t far-fetched one bit. However, there’s a small possibility that overall output could be increased to deliver even numbers from the ICE and the electric motors. Think about a Hyundai Halo car with 700 horsepower split right down the middle between fossil fuel and pure electric performance. I really wouldn’t hold my breath, but with Hyundai and Rimac working together, some crazy things could happen.

Kia Might Get Something from the Hyundai N Halo Car Too

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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Kia and Hyundai are essentially twins. They share everything and effectively set the standard for automaker collaboration. Now, Hyundai won’t want to dilute its halo car by letting Kia displatch its own rebadged model, but that doesn’t mean that Kia won’t come up with its own wild-eyed halo car beyond what it already has with the Kia Stinger. If nothing else, the next-gen Kia Stinger could borrow some tech and design goodness that’s being developed and implemented into the Hyundai N halo car. That, too, would push Kia into a territory that it’s just now coming close to with the Stinger, and it would put the Korean brothers in a place that we never thought possible just 15 or 20 years ago.

Final Thoughts

What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car Exterior
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Hyundai wasn’t even a member of the hot hatch club just a few years ago, and now its N Performance division is starting to make its presence known on a sizable chunk of Hyundai’s road-going lineup. The N lineup will soon include a performance version of the Hyundai i20, the facelifted i30, the Hyundai Kona, and even the next-gen Hyundai Tucson. Within a couple of years – we expected a 2022 launch – the Hyundai N halo car will come to shake up the market in all-new ways. Twenty years ago, when Hyundai was building affordable econoboxes, I would have downright laughed at you if you said this was the future. I would have laughed at you ten years ago. Yet, here we are with a mid-engined Hyundai so close that you can almost taste the premium fuel it’ll need to run at its best. 2020 is going to be an exciting decade, and you can bet Hyundai will be one of the biggest highlights when all is said and done.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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