Couple of us who grew up in the ’80s—or any other decade—would disagree with Dr. Emmett Brown’s introduction of the DeLorean DMC-12 in Back again to the Potential: “The way I see it, if you are heading to develop a time device into a motor vehicle, why not do it with some fashion?”
Now we know that the exact same basic principle holds correct for potential-looking hydrogen fuel-cell demonstrators. Hyundai’s N Eyesight 74 “rolling lab” won’t just bear a passing resemblance to the stance and proportions of the DeLorean, it basically has a genuine, if distant, link to the stainless-metal sporting activities car or truck.
This hydrogen-gasoline-mobile/electrical hybrid sports activities-automobile notion set the automotive net alight when it was 1st demonstrated a few of months back. The N Eyesight 74 shown Hyundai’s continued determination to hydrogen electrical power by means of the mixture of a 670-hp powertrain and what those people early images proposed was the ability to deliver impressive drift angles. Now we’ve experienced the opportunity to push an engineering prototype, and we can affirm that the N Vision 74 has the two superstar presence in the flesh and the potential to smoke its rear tires. This is the kind of potential we can all get behind.
Regrettably, there are no programs to place the N Eyesight 74 into production—the drivable model was established typically to help Hyundai study additional about what the organization phone calls a “digital differential”—two separate 335-hp motors with no physical connection in between them electricity its rear wheels. Nor, it turns out, is the engineering car essentially a Hyundai underneath.
“It’s a [Kia] Stinger,” Albert Biermann tells C/D with a wide grin. The 66-calendar year-aged German remaining BMW’s M Division to come to be Hyundai-Kia’s R&D boss and also established Hyundai’s N Division. Even though he is now retired from that work, he continue to functions for the group underneath the far-ranging occupation description of govt specialized advisor. It is a function that, obviously, provides him the skill to make PR executives squirm as he heads off the formal script. “The style and design arrived substantially afterwards, and the full strategy started off off with a different manufacturer, it was not an N thing at all, it was for the luxury brand name [Genesis]. But then we said, ‘This is a large amount of complicated stuff,’ so we had to establish a mecha-proto—which is what we call a prototype designed on an current car—and then utilize the new methods. We realized the Stinger was closest in phrases of measurement.”
4 of these Stinger-primarily based prototypes were being crafted, each and every with the 85-kW gas-mobile stack from the existing Hyundai Nexo in addition to a superior-overall performance 62.4-kWh battery pack. As 85 kilowatts translates into 114 horsepower, those quantities make clear that the hydrogen stack isn’t really directly providing the energy demanded by the superior-output motors relatively, it is acting as an on-board charger to extend vary. Hyundai quotations a figure of about 370 miles from the mix of a absolutely recharged battery pack and the 9.3 lbs of hydrogen the twin rear tanks can store.
The determination to turn one particular of the prototypes into the N Eyesight 74 came afterwards, and the concept’s bodywork consists of a deep dive into Hyundai’s earliest historical past. Lee SangYup, govt vice president of structure, led the venture. He’s a man with a good deal of knowledge when it arrives to styling muscular coupes. In advance of signing up for Hyundai, he was responsible for both equally the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and the attractive Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 thought from 2015. As its title implies, the N Eyesight 74 takes its inspiration from the 1970s, when Hyundai commissioned Giorgetto Giugiaro to create a coupe version of the firm’s initial independently manufactured vehicle, the Pony hatchback. The result had a great deal of the wedgy variety widespread to his extra famed designs from the identical era—but probably the closest resemblance to the Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint and the 1970 Porsche Tapiro thought.
The Pony Coupe failed to make output. The fledgling company experienced much more urgent demands than a halo coupe and, as Lee admits, “We failed to have an motor or suspension that could match the style and design.” The task was dropped, but the primary tooling blueprints stayed in the corporation archives—and Giugiaro applied them as the starting place for what became the DeLorean DMC-12, albeit with the addition of gullwing doorways. And even though formally encouraged by the Pony Coupe, there is some thing unarguably DeLorean-ish about the N Vision 74’s profile and the dark fascia bar wherever the pixel headlamps are found. Lee has one request, though: that we really don’t simply call it the “Seventy-4.” “It appears a great deal far better in Korean: Chilsib Sa,” he claims.
We get started out in the passenger seat at the Bilster Berg track in northwest Germany, a demanding and closely graded personal driving circuit crafted on the web-site of a one particular-time munitions depot. Owning negotiated the roll cage and strapped ourselves into the racing bucket seat, it is really achievable to see some of the Stinger that continue to lurks in the dashboard architecture. We established off, and pretty promptly it results in being distinct that this is not 1 of these fragile thought cars and trucks that ought to be dealt with with child gloves. Challenge engineer (and amateur racer) Jonghyuk Kwon demonstrates both equally the 74’s potential to generate awkward g-loadings and substantial drift angles on numerous of Bilster Berg’s turns.
Our push is considerably less breathtaking. Hyundai’s motivation to shield this hugely highly-priced a person-off implies that the traction handle has been switched again on. The N Eyesight 74 feels at the very least as speedy as its official claimed number—a sub-4-next 60-mph time, according to Hyundai. Its accelerator response is searingly direct, and, as opposed to cars and trucks that turn their motors right from a gas mobile, there is no perception of output slackening as the stack struggles to continue to keep up with demand. In the N Vision acceleration feels relentless, and as the speedometer streaks earlier 88 mph, we’re 50 percent expecting to quickly be transported to 1955.
Sitting on street-spec Pirelli P Zero 4S tires and weighing about two tons, the N Eyesight struggled a tiny underneath braking—the pedal feels picket, and stopping distances into Bilster Berg’s slower turns have been a small extended than expected. But in corners it was impressively prepared to transform path and discovered extraordinary adhesion, specially when it arrived to traction in tighter turns. Inspite of the absence of any actual physical relationship concerning the rear wheels (and the quantity of torque heading to each individual), responses felt identical to people of a automobile with a standard differential. And it stayed likewise all-natural even when, with the traction handle in the much more permissive Sport placing, we ended up in a position to deliberately press the rear tires into gentle, progressive breakaway. The hydrogen powertrain may be the headline grabber, but the invisible cleverness of the demonstrator’s active programs is the most impressive factor about the way it drives.
While Hyundai continues to be fully commited to making hydrogen-powered upcoming types along with EVs, none of the purchasable types appear to be likely to be retro-encouraged coupes. “Will the time come for us to carry this to a client?” Biermann asks, rhetorically. “It is tough for me to see us undertaking it at this minute we really don’t have to have these types of a motor vehicle.”
A standard electric powered edition would be less complicated to produce and nonetheless be in maintaining with the ahead-searching ethos, but the N Vision 74’s smooth, very low lines wouldn’t do the job with Hyundai’s Electrical World wide Modular System, which makes use of an underfloor battery pack. “Absolutely sure, we could make a new battery in a different structure,” Biermann says. “Everything is doable. But we would need to expend a big volume to do so.”
There will be a great deal of intriguing, purchasable cars and trucks in Hyundai’s long run, which include the forthcoming Ioniq 5 N EV, which claims Porsche Taycan-rivaling performance. Unfortunately, the N Eyesight 74 does not look set to turn into a person of them.
Hyundai N Vision 74
Car or truck Kind: dual rear-motor, rear-wheel-generate, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe
‘Rolling-lab’ prototype, not for sale
Rear Motors: 2 lasting-magnet AC, 335 hp each
Hydrogen Gasoline Mobile: 114 hp
Put together Energy: 670 hp
Put together Torque: 664 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 62.4 kWh
Wheelbase: 114.4 in
Length: 195. in
Width: 78.5 in
Top: 52.4 in
Curb Body weight (C/D est): 4400 lb
General performance (C/D EST)
60 mph: 3.5 sec
100 mph: 7.5 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.3 sec
Best Pace: 160 mph
EPA Gasoline Economy (C/D EST)
Merged/City/Highway: 60/64/56 MPGe
Assortment: 370 mi
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