Hyundai has been on quite a roll this month. South Korea’s largest automaker recently unveiled the Ioniq 6 and Ioniq 6 N just days apart from one another, and today, Hyundai continued its hot streak by announcing the N Vision 74 concept. While Hyundai didn’t make any promises regarding a production timeline, it was clear from the press release that the N Vision 74 packs one mean, hydrogen-powered punch.
Unlike the vast majority of electric vehicles on the market today, the N Vision 74 is powered by hydrogen. Yes — the gas. And because the N Vision 74 is a full-blown sports car and not a commuter car, a battery like those in a Tesla or Porsche wouldn’t work well with extensive high speed track use. These lithium-ion batteries are generally not made to handle high speeds and often degrade rapidly once the speedometer is reading in the triple digits. For this reason, Hyundai added a hydrogen fuel cell in the front, which, combined with oxygen and rear-mounted, compressed hydrogen tanks, in turn creates electricity and water.
This electricity is used to power the two rear electric motors that, when paired with with just over nine pounds of hydrogen onboard and a 62.4-kWh battery, produce 580 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque while still having a range of 373 miles. These figures are astounding, especially considering how hydrogen is in the early stages of its evolution.
Those numbers allow the N Vision 74 to hit the 60 mile-per-hour mark in four seconds flat and reach a top speed of 155 mph. As for track performance, Hyundai has indicated it will bring the N Vision 74 to the Nüburgring Nordschleife with the hope the vehicle will maintain its power outputs without overheating. The hydrogen cell, battery, and rear motors each get a cooling system to prevent the temperature from getting too high.
While the performance aspect is stellar, the N Vision 74’s styling is on another level entirely. We, and enthusiasts alike, especially adore the set of dropdead-gorgeous turbofan wheel covers, the considerably sized front spoiler, side air intakes, and the monumental rear wing. Hyundai isn’t exactly known for making art on wheels, so to see one as attractive as this is quite a big shock.
Hyundai used its 1974 Pony Coupe concept as a basis for the N Vision 74’s classic styling, while appearing to mix in cues from the likes of the Lancia Delta S4, Volkswagen Scirocco, and DeLorean DMC-12. The styling connection to the latter, however, is no coincidence. The Hyundai Pony Coupe never reached production, and its styling was subsequently modified and refined by its designer into the era-defining DeLorean.
“If you see DeLorean [in this car],” stated Hyundai Motor Group design boss, Sangyup Lee, “just remember, we did it first.”
Whether or not the N Vision 74 will ever make it to production is a mystery. Hyundai says their “advanced technologies [will be applied] to future production models,” but this retro-racer is “not confirmed for commercial production.” For now, all we can do is hope and wait.