Hyundai and Rimac are teaming up to bring us a mid-engine supercar.
This one sort of came out of left field. We knew that Rimac was in the habit of partnering with established carmakers to sell their electric powertrain technology, but we thought that Hyundai was already pretty far along with their own electric vehicle tech that they didn’t really need the help.
Then again, Hyundai is more about economical electric cars whereas Rimac is more about 2,000 horsepower hypercars that can launch from zero to sixty in under 2 seconds.
On Tuesday, Hyundai and Rimac announced a strategic partnership that would see the Croatian and Korean carmakers “work closely together to develop prototypes for an electric version of Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports concept car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle with the intent to bring them to market at a later time."
Hyundai Motor Group will invest 80 million Euros (or roughly $90 million USD) into Rimac with the intent of jointly creating this mid-engine sports concept.
We already have a pretty good idea of what we might be in store for. As Jalopnik points out, Hyundai unveiled a mid-engine sports concept version of the Veloster in 2014 called the RM14. RM, in this case, stands for “racing midship.” A follow up was presented in 2015 with iterative improvements, and again in 2016 with the RM16.
Powered by a 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine with 296 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque, the RM16 features an electric supercharger for greater low-rev performance, an electronic limited-slip differential, an active exhaust, and an active rear spoiler. Although the mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration never found its way into the production version of the Veloster, many other design elements did.
“Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.”
We’re pretty sure Hyundai is less concerned with “clean mobility” and more concerned with “extreme mobility” if they’re partnering with Rimac.