Report: Hyundai Will Build a Hybrid Supercar

Big aspirations from a company that only just launched its premium marque.

Auto Expo 2016
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Hyundai is developing a high-performance two-seater with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, according to information obtained by Drive.com.au (with whom we are unaffiliated) at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The car was confirmed by Luc Donckerwolke, the former Lamborghini stylist responsible for the Murcielago and Gallardo, who is now employed by Hyundai as the company's styling lead. Hyundai R&D VP Yang Woong Chul shared further information, hinting that the car will make as little use of internal combustion as possible and will rely primarily upon electricity for propulsion. It is said that the project is led by a combination of former BMW performance specialist Albert Biermann and Hyundai's infant performance division, N.

This continues Hyundai's expansion into high-dollar and enthusiast markets. Genesis as a brand was spun off from Hyundai in 2015, and N followed in 2016, with some of the latter's offerings consisting of the i30 N, and eventually, the Tucson N and Veloster N. Hyundai's sister company, Kia, is also putting eggs in the basket that is the enthusiast market, with its Stinger GT, which our own Lawrence Ulrich spoke fondly of in 2017.

The Drive contacted Hyundai for additional details on this car including production scale, target market, what branding will be associated with the car, and the degree of involvement of its SmartStream engine project, but no comment has been received.

SmartStream is a Hyundai program meant to advance the company's road car engine technology beyond that of rivals, with the company targeting 50 percent thermal efficiency, an efficiency level only scraped by Mercedes' current Formula 1 engine. Should Hyundai reach its target, it may be capable of making a competitor to the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar, which derives technology from the very same program that Hyundai's own aspirations resemble. With so little known at present about Hyundai's supercar project, comparisons with a cutting-edge Mercedes hypercar may be presumptuous to make so soon.