2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 N concept revealed

Hyundai’s new RN22e concept hints at what a go-fast Ioniq 6 N electric car could look like – though it remains to be seen if Hyundai ever builds one.

A high-performance Hyundai Ioniq 6 N electric sedan could be in the works, hot on the heels of confirmation the Ioniq 5 will be the Hyundai N division’s first electric car.

Officially, Hyundai says the RN22e concept revealed at the Busan motor show this week is not a precursor to a Ioniq 6 N. Instead, the brand calls this vehicle a ‘Rolling Lab Concept’, designed as a test bed for future technologies.

However, it provides a clear preview of what a high-performance Ioniq 6 N could look like, if one is given the green light – powered by dual motors developing 430kW and 740Nm.

Hyundai says the RN22e is instrumental in the development of existing and future N performance vehicles, including the Ioniq 5 N launching globally in 2023, ahead of an Australian launch in 2024 (click here for more details).

“These rolling lab projects are great assets to prepare the N’s electrification vision turning into reality, the Ioniq 5 N next year,’’ said Hyundai N Vice President Till Wartenberg.

The RN22e offers “racetrack-ready performance by refining and optimising Hyundai’s market-leading Electrified Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and packaging it in an IONIQ 6-based streamliner design”, according to Hyundai.

The Hyundai RM22e shares its mechanicals with its E-GMP sibling, the Kia EV6 GT road car, with 430kW and 740Nm outputs generated from a 160kW motor driving the front axle, and a 270kW motor driving the rear.

The concept has the same 77.4kWh battery pack found in the new Ioniq 6, which offers 800-volt charging capability that allows it to go from 10 to 80 per cent capacity in 18 minutes.

No 0-100km/h time has been announced, though the Kia EV6 GT quotes 3.5 seconds, with a taller body and road tyres. Hyundai says the RN22e can hit 250km/h.

Compared to the road-going Ioniq 6 which debuted this week, the RN22e concept is longer, wider and sits noticeably lower to the road, presumably on sports suspension.

The RN22e features an evolved version of Hyundai N’s electronic limited-slip differential, which has been enhanced to account for the EV’s greater kerb weight, and also includes a twin-clutch torque vectoring set-up to apportion torque across the rear axle.

The car also features a number of 3D-printed parts focused on reducing weight and improving rigidity, in turn said to benefit cornering performance.

Additional work has gone into braking and cooling so future EV N vehicles have racetrack endurance. Uprated four-piston monobloc calipers and 400mm hybrid discs are said to better account for the weight of the batteries.

Hyundai says work still needs to be done integrating the new braking system into the EV’s energy regeneration system.

Another of the RN22e’s developmental roles is improving the N Sound+ artificial sound generator, which uses interior and exterior speakers to add “a dynamic driving feel”.

In addition, Hyundai says an ‘N e-shift’ component of N Sound+ can simulate the vibration and feel of a gearshift, in lieu of a petrol car’s transmission.

Hyundai says it chose the Ioniq 6’s streamliner body for this rolling lab because of its aerodynamic features. Even so, that didn’t stop Hyundai increasing the aerodynamic volume of the front bumper and fitting a huge, racing-inspired rear wing.

The RN22e measures 4915mm long and rides on a 2915mm wheelbase. To put that in context, the Hyundai Palisade seven-seat large SUV is 4980mm long and has a 2900mm wheelbase.

“Rolling labs represent the continuous development of our most advanced technologies,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of customer experience at Hyundai. “This unique approach makes us ready for the challenges of the future by empowering us to push ourselves to the limit.”

Glenn Butler is one of Australia’s best-known motoring journalists having spent the last 25 years reporting on cars on radio, TV, web and print. He’s a former editor of Wheels, Australia’s most respected car magazine, and was deputy editor of Drive.com.au before that. Glenn’s also worked at an executive level for two of Australia’s most prominent car companies, so he understands how much care and consideration goes into designing and developing new cars. As a journalist, he’s driven everything from Ferraris to Fiats on all continents except Antarctica (which he one day hopes to achieve) and loves discovering each car’s unique personality and strengths. Glenn knows a car’s price isn’t indicative of its competence, and even the cheapest car can enhance your life and expand your horizons. 

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