Hyundai’s first supercar will run on hydrogen

The radical Hyundai N Vision 74 concept will evolve into the world’s first road-legal hydrogen supercar and serve as a halo car for the South Korean brand. Several media reports suggest that Hyundai is planning on a surprise for friend and foe by producing the world’s first road-legal hydrogen supercar, the N74.

Following its concept debut in 2022, a production version could hit the market in 2026. Or will Renault or Ferrari beat the Koreans to the game?

The South Korean auto industry is gaining an edge due to the world’s strong focus on carbon neutrality, pioneering new propulsion and battery technologies, and making highly advanced zero-emission vehicles the new normal.

Hydrogen-powered sports cars are trending. Toyota and Mazda participate in a dedicated racing series in Asia, while Le Mans is preparing for a dedicated category by 2027. From closed-circuit racing, it is only a small step to supercars in a showroom.

Ferrari has patented the wild idea of an upside-down combustion engine running on hydrogen. Renault is seriously considering a limited-run production of its hydrogen racecar (Alpine) Alpenglow, which was scheduled to debut in the Six Hours of Spa before an electric glitch put the plans to rest.

Fuel cell-hybrid concept

The world’s first hydrogen supercar will be a further developed version of the Hyundai N Vision 74 hydrogen fuel cell-hybrid concept, which debuted in July 2022. That’s probably why Hyundai internally refers to it with the codename ‘N74′.

The N74  is being developed with a rear-wheel-drive layout and features design elements inspired by the 1974 Pony Coupe, Hyundai’s first car. The production model is supposed to showcase gullwing doors and a sleek, modern aesthetic.

The production car will have a rear-wheel drive layout, and its powertrain will develop 570 kW (775 PS), reaching 100 kph in just three seconds. There’s no word on the Hyundai N74’s top speed, but because the production car’s performance will be better than the concept’s, it’s safe to assume that it will manage at least its top speed and range (250 kph and 600+ km).

Further details have emerged stating that Hyundai aims to attack the Nürburgring lap record for production cars, currently held by the Mercedes-AMG One, with a time of 6 minutes and 35.183 seconds. The newspaper Korea Economic Daily claims that the N74 is prepared to lap the Nordschleife twice before needing a refill.

Halo model for hydrogen

The Hyundai N74 will be a halo model engineered to demonstrate the capability of hydrogen power and popularize hydrogen cars. Hyundai is developing the next-generation Nexo and plans to release it in 2025. Thus, the N74 could help Hyundai attract customers to the upcoming hydrogen fuel-cell electric SUV.

Hyundai plans to manufacture just 200 units of the N74 over a two-year period. In August, Hyundai will manufacture a test mule and start production of the fully developed production model in June 2026.

With its futuristic powertrain, unique design, and limited production, the Hyundai N74 won’t come cheap. The Korea Economic Daily’s industry sources expect the price to be 500 million South Korean won or some 340,000 euros.

That would easily make this the most expensive Hyundai in history. The six-digit price tag would put it in the so-called supercar league. Its closest competitors could be BEVs like the next-gen Tesla Roadster and the Lotus Type 135 but also future electric supercars from many sporty brands. It may be expensive for a Hyundai, but it is hugely affordable, next to the € 2.4 million price ticker stuck on the AMG-One it wants to beat.


Ready to join the conversation?

You must be an active subscriber to leave a comment.

Subscribe Today

You Might Also Like