The Hyundai RN22E Is A Track-Focused Hyundai Ioniq 6 Meant To Show How The Upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Hatchback Will Conquer Racing’s Archnemesis: Weight

Screen Shot 2022 07 15 At 1.41.37 Pm

Electric cars are heavy, and Hyundai’s handling-focused N division gets that. That’s why, prior to its exciting reveal that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N hatchback is coming in 2023, the brand released the RN22E concept car based on the recently-shown Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan. “We are challenging and studying the physics limits of heavier EVs,” Hyundai begins in its reveal. Here’s what else we know about this concept car meant to showcase how the tech Hyundai will put into its first all-electric N-car.

“If RN22e can master [challenging and studying the physics limits of heavier EVs], the future potential is endless,” Hyundai continues in its reveal clip, shown below. So, how does Hyundai plan to combat weight? Well, the same way automakers like Porsche and BMW have been doing it for years on larger sedans and SUVs, and the same way Nissan did it with the GTR: Heavy reliance on torque vectoring, smart suspension design, and upsized cooling bits.

Here’s what Hyundai says about the 577 horsepower, E-GMP platform-based sedan’s corner-carving strategy (Note: I wish I knew more about this car than what’s in the press release, but I just don’t right now, so I’ll be regurgitating because this car is worth it):

RN22e elevates the corner carving feel with inevitably heavier weight, by exploring torque vectoring by twin clutch. Moreover, the 3D printed parts reduce weight and keep the rigidity for better corner attack. Equipped with AWD, RN22e provides optimized torque distribution according to different drive modes that allows drivers to choose the torque power on the front and rear wheels.

Hyundai Rn22e Concept4

As for the upsized cooling bits, the brand says it has developed “EV specific logic to minimize derating,” which is performance reduction resulting from high temperatures. The brand also says its track-oriented EVs will focus on strategic preconditioning logic for the 77.4 kWh battery to improve charging speeds, with the 800 volt RN22e quoted as able to charge from 10 to 80 percent state of charge in under 18 minutes. As for brakes, Hyundai acknowledges that, “With heavier weight, strong and consistent brake performance is a must.” From Hyundai:

To enhance RN22e’s racetrack capability, N focused on cooling and braking to enhance endurance. RN22e provides track-optimized settings to let customers enjoy the circuit without derating. Having four piston monoblock calipers and a 400-mm hybrid disc allows RN22e to withstand the weight of its power electric (PE) system. In addition, Hyundai N will use RN22e to study how to deliver dynamic movement with regen-braking that precisely controls yaw and corner attack.

Hyundai Rn22e Concept

You may notice sounds in the video that you might not normally expect from an EV. Hyundai has synthesized these sounds and played them through the vehicle’s speaker, not unlike other brands like Audi and Ford have done with their E-Tron GT and Mustang Mach-E, respectively. I personally find these fake sounds to be additive to the driving experience when going fast, though I don’t know if my position on that will change over time. Also mentioned are artificial shifts called “N e-shift.” Here, let Hyundai tell you a bit about that:

As Hyundai N develops and verifies state-of-the-art technologies for transfer to N production models, RN22e plays an important role as the rolling lab for upcoming EV N models. Knowing what exhilarates enthusiasts, N is developing new features, such as the emotional driving experience for electrified models. RN22e provides N Sound+, which generates sound from the interior and exterior speakers, for a dynamic driving feel. In addition, N e-shift integrates the vibration and shifting feel with N Sound+. As it is a rolling lab, where Hyundai N continuously develops advanced technologies, these emotional driving experiences will be further developed in various types via RN22e, so that drivers can select their own fun.

Hyundai Rn22e Concept3

Though the first Hyundai electric N is expected to be the Ioniq 5, set for release next year, the RN22e is based on that car’s newer sibling, the Ioniq 6 sedan. It’s a full-size sedan at over 16 feet in length, nearly 80 inches wide, and 58 inches tall, and you can bet it weighs at least 4,500 pounds, but with a 160 kW (215 hp) motor up front and a 270 kW (362 hp) motor out back — which total 577 ponies — you can bet the thing will be quick, and with the characteristic low center of gravity of an EV, combined with Hyundai’s torque vectoring strategy and some clever steering and suspension trickery, it’ll be interesting to see just how truly track-oriented the Ioniq 5 N will be.

Hyundai Rn22e Concept2

“These [aforementioned] aspects of the RN22e,” Hyundai concludes at the end of its reveal of the car, “will transfer into a production car arriving soon.” That production car will be the charming Ioniq 5 that many of us have come to love.

 

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25 Responses

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  2. “…it’ll be interesting to see just how truly track-oriented the Ioniq 5 N will be.”

    The specs and descriptions reminded me a lot of the current NSX, with a lot of weight, awd, torque vectoring, and 500ish hp. So my guess would be that it will be extremely capable and fast, but a little low on drama compared to expectations.

    However, since it doesn’t have any nostalgia associated with the name, the Ioniq 5 N will likely escape the (overboard IMO) criticism the NSX got and be judged a lot differently.

    1. Whoops, I meant the RN22e.

      Hard to keep track of letter and word salads that make up car names these days, and that quote I pulled came right after a paragraph describing the RN22e but pivoted to the Ioniq 5 N.

    1. Banged this out in 25 minutes. Please excuse the typos.

      [Shifts diesel van].

      I just drove the Genesis GV60, so prepare for that. It’s amazing.

      [Gets to steep grade. Doesn’t downshift. Because diesel].

      1. Wanna come help me put my new 1.9 TDI engine into my 03 built Jetta? Fabricated a Holset HY35 and around 330ish horsepower and god knows how much torque, eventually bent piston 1 enough to lock it up in the bore, spare engine sitting next to it. Over near 11 and Coolidge in a warehouse if you are game :).

        Fastest ALH TDI you will likely see without going to Canada/Sweden.

  3. The best way to combat weight is to not add it in the first place.

    We need simpler vehicles with less features, less items to add in profit margin. Colin Chapman understood why less is so much more.

    The same should apply to wind loading, especially for an EV.

    You know what would allow to make an affordable EV sedan? Imagine a streamliner like the Mercedes Benz Vision EQXX. Instead of a massive battery pack to set a range record, imagine a pack 1/3 the size, on the order of 25 kWh. You could shave 1,000 lbs off of the 3,800 lb curb weight. Because there’s less loading, you no longer need exotic materials to build it and can use conventional materials without increasing mass. This plus less battery cuts costs. You’ve also increased the Wh/mile efficiency from taking off a major chunk of weight. Cut costs and mass further, by getting rid of power windows, heated/cooled seats, and all kinds of unnecessary bloat.

    AND it’s now around 2,600-2,700 lbs, safety features intact. This means we don’t need as much power for acceptable acceleration, allowing to cut down on electronics costs.

    Now 200+ miles real world range becomes possible. Mass produce this thing, and a sub $20k cost becomes possible, without subsidy. It would be the Mitsubishi Mirage equivalent of long-range EVs. And with the right gearing, even with a measly 100 kW or so, straight-line performance would be on the order of 0-60 mph in 7 seconds and a top speed over 160 mph, which would be comparable to a Ferrari 250GTO, V12 Jaguar E-Type, or Lamborghini Miura, and with modern tires/suspension/electronics/brakes, it would probably perform better on a race track than either of them.

    There’d be no transmission to fail, no spark plugs, pistons, belts, pulleys, gaskets. The battery pack could be made significantly cheaper than something you’d see from a modern EV with something triple its mass. So if the battery goes out, it becomes a $5,000 problem instead of a $15,000 problem, but still could last 250,000 miles or more, meaning it becomes very economical even when compared to an ICE car running $1.50/gallon gasoline.

    Of course, that means planned obsolescence would have to be done away with, a taboo notion in the auto industry. It’s all about extracting as much money from people as possible, which is a total garbage philosophy if there ever was one, considering the externalities are never accounted for. As they are today, most EVs are disposable cars. Such a massive waste. It doesn’t have to be this way.

    1. EVs have added weight because range can be measured, so all of the media measures it. Car buyers have now been taught that a car with more range is better. More range requires heavier batteries.

      The average American commute round trip is about 56 miles a day. A car with 200 miles of range – not 379 – would allow those commuters to go to and from work all week with only one recharge during that week.

      Same old problem with metrics: just because you can measure it doesn’t mean it matters.

      1. The current gen Leaf is more expensive, uses a much larger battery, isn’t as fast, and is heavier than what I proposed. Its aerodynamics still leave a lot to be desired.

        Even the original 1st gen Leaf could have had 40% more highway range on the same battery it camer with if its drag coefficient was cut by 1/3. The 1st gen Leaf had an unremarkable 0.28 for its Cd, the same as the average new car sold. It could have been so much more if its drag was in the upper 0.1X range. It was almost free range, with the added benefit of less overall stress on the battery due to the cycles being more shallow during its use.

  4. Not exactly germane to the tech parts (which were fascinating…as an aging ICE guy, I love learning about the future), but I really like the way they did the “N” grill designation.

    Reminds me of pre-war British racing cars, and a nice way for a new tech car to break with current badging conventions.

    Related, I’ve often wondered if Hyundai is the next NASCAR entrant.

  5. Is the link to the video in the post? Maybe I’m just not awake yet, but I don’t see it?

    A lot of people are hating on the Ioniq 6’s styling, but I am rally liking what Hyundai is doing lately, and Kia…the N version looks very cool so far.

    Not sure how I feel about fake sound and fake shifting though :/

    1. I’m kinda okay with fake sounds. I always turned on the sound enhancement in my GTI because it helped me maintain awareness of my revs without having to glance down at the tach. Revs per se aren’t a thing in an electric, but it could still be a useful way to communicate background information about your speed. Maybe the fake shifts fall in the same category; one usually uses gear as a rough proxy for speed when judging the proper entry for a corner. Maybe there are better ways to make use of audio for communicating vehicle state information, but these noises are at least already familiar.

      1. I’m ok with the fake sounds, but for a different reason. Not that I’m encouraging the whole nickle and dime the car buyer for features, but, I could totally see Hyundai or some other enterprising EV producer licensing sounds from Lucasfilm/Disney, Paramount, etc.
        I think I’d pay to make my Ioniq 5 sound like a TIE fighter, an X-Wing, a Colonial Viper, or an Earthforce Starfury. I don’t think I’m the only one.

      2. That’s a good point I hadn’t considered, the functional driving uses of the sounds.

        And your last sentence def. brings to mind the skeuomorphic thing that we discuss on the site from time to time…right now, electric cars are mimicking ICE things, but eventually, will there be EV-specific sounds directly related to how they do things?

    2. I’m the same on the fakery.

      Certain current performance cars have cool-sounding, race-car-like pops and gurgles when you take your foot off the gas.

      I was torn to learn it’s actually purposely done by the computer, I believe actuating the exhaust valves as it’s igniting the mixture.

      It’s not the fake exhaust noise in the cabin via the stereo, sure, but it does seem have an element of being the aural equivalent of a tiny spoiler on the back of your car, something that’s divorced from function.

      I can’t say it’s wrong, but at the same time, it feels…inauthentic?

      1. The manufactured pops and crackles, to me, are sort of like those “modeling” guitar amps: it’s still an amp, but while the sound coming out of it is vintage Vox AC30, that sound isn’t being earned, you might say.

        EVs making fake car noises is like using Pro Tools to make music without ever touching an instrument. It might fake you out, but it will never really satisfy you.

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