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Like many manufacturers, Hyundai uses motorsport as a proving ground for new technology, and it aims to build an high-performance EV to show it is possible.

07 Apr 2021 | International News : Germany


Hyundai Motorsport will soon participate in the inaugural all-electric touring car championship PURE ETCR, which will commence later in 2021. PURE ETCR will set the benchmark for electric racing around the world and accelerate the transition to emission-free mobility. Hyundai's involvement marks the latest step in its quest to make motorsport greener.

Hyundai Motorsport will compete in PURE ETCR with its new all-electric high-performance touring car, the Veloster N ETCR. It heralds an exciting new era for Hyundai, which will see electric racing become one of the pillars of the company.

The i20 N Rally2 is a new car from Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing that is intended for privateer teams and drivers
Alongside its electrification strategy, Hyundai has also used its leadership in fuel cell technology to develop its hydrogen generator. This generator will be able to charge electric cars through converting green hydrogen into charging power.

For Hyundai, motorsport is a field in which the company can experiment with new technologies, which can then inform the development of its production cars. Knowledge transfer between Hyundai Motorsport and the Hyundai N brand has proved fruitful so far, with success in both the WRC and TCR championships as well as well-received road cars like the new i20 N.

Motorsport is an extension of Hyundai's 'performance' pillar. Despite being a fresh player in this field, Hyundai has already made a mark. The Hyundai Motorsport team formed in 2012, and oversaw the establishment of its Alzenau facility and the development of its first rally car, the i20 WRC.

Hyundai Motorsport entered the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time in 2014. After five successful seasons laying the foundations for success, the team won the World Rally Championship for the first time in 2019. This feat was successfully repeated last year, as Hyundai strengthened its reputation in global motorsport.

The i30 N TCR, Hyundai's current offering for touring car racing
After a successful foray into WRC, Hyundai Motorsport entered the world of circuit racing in 2018 with the i30 N TCR. Gabriele Tarquini took the car to the top of the inaugural WTCR standings in 2018. A year later, Norbert Michelisz powered the i30 N TCR to its second consecutive championship.

Hyundai Motorsport competes in the WRC with the i20 Coupe WRC, which is based on a highly-modified version of the Hyundai i20. In the WTCR, the team races with the i30 N TCR. This dedicated touring car is based on Hyundai's first high-performance production model, the i30 N. Both cars demonstrate how Hyundai's road-going models serve as an optimal basis for Hyundai Motorsport's competitive racing cars.

As a further sign of Hyundai's commitment to sustainability in its performance models, Hyundai Motorsport is currently developing a mild hybrid powertrain for the i20 WRC. This is scheduled to launch in 2022, and it is set to be the world's first rally car with such technology.

As well as competing in WRC and TCR with models based on road-going cars, Hyundai uses motorsport as a testing ground for new technologies. This approach has a direct impact on Hyundai's future N production models through knowledge transfer. 

The i30 N TCR (right) is based on Hyundai's first high-performance production model, the i30 N (left)
For example, Hyundai's latest racetrack-capable hot hatch, the i20 N, is directly influenced by the i20 WRC car. The new i20 N carries the same weight as the minimum required in WRC and bears a rallying-inspired roof spoiler for enhanced aerodynamics.

Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing recently unveiled the i20 N Rally2, a new rally car intended for privateer teams and drivers. In another example of how Hyundai Motorsport and Hyundai N work together to enhance their performance offerings, the i20 N Rally2 car is based on the strong foundation of the all new i20 N's chassis.

Ahead of the PURE ETCR championship, Hyundai Motorsport's engineers designed and built Hyundai's first all-electric high-performance vehicle, the Veloster N ETCR, at its headquarters in Alzenau, Germany. Like the i30 N TCR and i20 N Rally2, it is based on a highly-modified version of another Hyundai N car, the North American Veloster N model.

PURE ETCR allows Hyundai to push its electrification systems to the limit under the most extreme conditions. However, while high-performance is a key tenet for Hyundai, it is also committed to making the competition as environmentally-friendly as possible. For Hyundai, this does not stop with the zero-emission drivetrain. Rather, the whole ecosystem has to be sustainable, from power generation to fuel transport.

Hyundai's participation in PURE ETCR will allow it to push its electrification systems to the limit under extreme conditions, in turn gaining valuable data
Hyundai will be offering its new hydrogen generator as a recharging system for electric vehicles. The Hyundai Generator is the newest feature of emission-free electric charging and consists of two fuel cell stacks. First, the generator is filled up using tanks of compressed hydrogen. 

Inside the fuel cell stack, the hydrogen is exposed to oxygen. The ensuing chemical reaction generates energy. This energy is used to charge the batteries of the electric touring vehicles. This way, participants can be sure that the electricity used to charge the cars also comes from emissions-free, sustainable sources.

The Hyundai Generator allows two EVs to charge simultaneously. As well as featuring a high-speed charging capability, it also offers significantly reduced noise levels compared to a diesel generator. Beyond e-racing, Hyundai is also confident its hydrogen-powered generator has a range of different potential use cases, such as festivals, construction sites and crisis situations.

Electrified motorsport is also a way for Hyundai to reach out to new target groups. By developing an emissions-free touring car like the Veloster N ETCR, the company is demonstrating the feasibility of high-performance EVs. These models can be eco-friendly, while at the same time being fun to drive.

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