Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell concept points to the future of the performance N brand • TechCrunch

Just don’t say it’s inspired by the DeLorean

Hyundai announced this on Thursday a hydrogen-fuel cell hybrid concept car called the N Vision 74, which the company says demonstrates the performance sub-brand’s vision for electrification.

The Hyundai N sub-brand, the automaker’s performance arm, has been applied to a range of production vehicles since its inception in 2015, from the Hyundai Veloster N and Elantra N to the Kona N.

The N brand, a name inspired by the famous German track at the Nürburgring where Hyundai tests these models, has focused its N brand on luxury performance brands such as BMW M, Mercedes AMG, Audi RS and Cadillac V-series.

The N Vision 74 raises the stakes. Just don’t say it’s inspired by the DeLorean.

A closer look at N Vision 74

hyundai n 74 side angle

Image Credits: Abigail Bassett

Hyundai calls the N Vision 74 a “rolling laboratory,” a kind of test bed for future products. Although there is also some history of the Hyundai Pony Coupé in it.

The N Vision 74 pays homage to the 1974 Hyundai Pony Coupé concept, which was developed by legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also designed the Delorean. (The DeLorean debuted in 1981 after the Pony Coupé.) It’s a detail that Sang Yup Lee, the Hyundai Global Design Center and a Hyundai Motor Company executive vice president quickly noticed.

“Don’t say they are alike because we did it first,” Lee said at the press conference.

N Vision 74 will have a unique hydrogen hybrid and battery-electric architecture. Underpinning the N Vision 74 concept is both a fuel cell stack and a battery pack. The fuel cell stack at the front provides 85kW (max. 95kW), while the 62.4kWh battery is at the rear.

The hydrogen W fuel cell converts hydrogen into electricity to charge the 62 kWh battery. The car also gets independent rear-mounted motors on each wheel to generate a total output of 500 kW and nearly 670 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai says this allows engineers to fine-tune the power distribution between the left and right wheels and optimally set up the N Vision 74 to handle different types of tracks.

The N Vision 74 concept gets dual charging options. It can be filled with hydrogen or charged on a DC fast charger thanks to the underlying E-GMP platform with 800 volt architecture. Hyundai says it can get a whopping 372 miles of range and a top speed of 250 mph.

The question, of course, is whether this hydrogen fuel cell hybrid technology will come to a production car?

Hyundai does not want to say whether this kind of powertrain will go into production. However, Lee concluded his presentation by saying that “The N Vision 74 Concept has the unmistakable Hyundai DNA and design that serves as a compass to guide our future.”

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