Radical Hyundai RN22e concept previews N sports EVs

The main weapon in the RN22e’s dynamic armoury is its torque-vectoring capability. Although it has only one motor on each axle (unlike cars such as the Audi E-tron S and Hummer EV), it achieves the effect of overpowering the outside driven wheels using a clutch pack. 

Wartenberg stressed that configurability is becoming a key tenet of the N sub-brand. The RN22e has two motors that give it four-wheel drive (offering up the same 577bhp and 548lb ft as the related Kia EV6 GT), which the N division is putting to good use by letting the driver choose the torque split between the front and the rear axle. Every other EV so far has either managed this automatically or had a fixed split.

Such a setting should inject some much-needed predictable playfulness into a driver’s EV. The ultimate expression of the combination of torque-vectoring and a variable torque split is a drift mode, a feature which will be present in next year’s Ioniq 5 N.

Hyundai claims the one-off track car will top out at north of 155mph. The EV6 GT – taller, less slippery and no doubt weightier – can crack 161mph. 

The test bed also serves to explore improved braking for EVs. While regenerative braking means that EVs’ disc brakes tend not to come under a lot of stress on the road, the weight of the battery pack can cause an EV to run out of braking power quite quickly under repeated heavy stress on a track. Hyundai is therefore experimenting with a 400mm hybrid-metal disc.