Hyundai reveals their first electric race car, the bonkers Veloster N ETCR
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The potential for electric Touring Car racing is building with Hyundai unveiling a racer based on its Veloster N model and designed for the upcoming ETCR category.
Launching the car overnight at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai becomes the second marque to commit to the new ETCR platform which is expected to stage its first races next year and launch a fully-fledged series in 2021.
The ETCR category is the brainchild of the WSC organisation which also created and manages the TCR touring car category. TCR has gained a global footprint in recent years, including a New Zealand series set to begin early next year.
While there are design and visual similarities between the Veloster N ETCR car and the conventional Veloster N TCR, there is a significant difference under the skin with the electric racer having a mid-mounted motor and rear-wheel-drive. No technical or performance figures have been released for the electric racer.
All cars developed for the ETCR category will use a controlled electric motor, battery and cooling system supplied by the series organisers. It is envisaged that increasing technical freedom will be allowed in later years, a move similar to the development of the Formula E electric single-seater championship.
The ETCR category was announced in early 2018 and launched officially in October last year when the first car — the Cupra e-Racer from the performance sub-brand of the SEAT marque – was demonstrated at Barcelona circuit.
Hyundai Motorsport says electric racing will become one of the pillars of the company. The ETCR racer builds on Hyundai Motorsport’s expertise in touring car racing and follows the success of the competitive i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR packages.
Design work began in November 2018 at the Hyundai Motorsport headquarters in Alzenau, Germany. The first shakedown of the prototype was completed in August 2019 and a full testing programme will commence later this month.
Hyundai says two Veloster N ETCR will be produced for the first ETCR season with the project running alongside the company’s continued commitments as a manufacturer in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), as well as its Customer Racing efforts with the i20 R5 rally car and the i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR racers.