Hyundai Taps Rimac, Makes 810hp Electric Hot Hatch

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

If you woke up this morning and immediately thought what this world needs is a mid-engine Hyundai with 810 horsepower, then we have good news for you.

In partnership with Rimac, the South Korean giant has produced this electrified RM20e, a prototype said to be pointing the way to the next generation of Hyundai’s N performance chops.

The RM20e is said to be an engineering ‘rolling lab’, one which will be used for testing high-performance technologies. Hyundai has been using cars with the RM designation as testbeds for nearly a decade, developing and connecting hi-po tech with future production cars bearing the N badge. This effort utilizes its midship-based 800V motor, making 810 horsepower and 708 lb.-ft of torque, and rear-drive layout to propel the RM20e to 60 mph from rest in under 3 seconds. A 60 kWh battery is on board.

“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,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group, presumably while completing a watercolor of endangered polar bears. “RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series.”

In terms of the real world, this means that future N variants of Hyundai models will likely be juiced with electrons, a revelation that should surprise no one given recent trends in other corners of the performance segment. In this vein, Hyundai has set a strategic plan to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by 2025, building on their partnership with Rimac and the co-development of BEV and FCEV prototypes.

In case you fell asleep in class, N at Hyundai 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 consonant has been affixed to the Veloster to great effect; anyone who’s driven the thing will surely speak of its pop-bang-fizz exhaust note and great handling.

The compact Elantra currently has an N-Line variant (think N-Lite) powered by a turbocharged 1.6L making 200hp. It is widely expected a true N version of the Elantra will appear in 2021 packing a 275hp turbocharged 2.0L plucked from the aforementioned Veloster N.

[Images: Hyundai]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.