After teaming up with Pininfarina for the Battista and with Aston Martin for the Valkyrie, Croatian performance EV brand Rimac is now joining forces with the Hyundai-Kia conglomerate. Founded in 2009, the company behind the fully electric Concept_One and Concept_Two supercars will allow the two South Korean brands to make use of its know-how regarding the development of high-performance EVs.
Hyundai is investing €64 million (approximately £56m at current exchange rates) while Kia is spending €16m (£14 million) to form the technical partnership with Rimac. According to the agreement, the companies will be working together on two performance-oriented electric vehicles by 2020, which is the same year when production of the C_Two (pictured above) will commence. The identity of these cars is being partially disclosed, with one of them being a fully electric variant of the Hyundai N’s “midship sports car” while the other is bound to be a performance fuel cell vehicle.
The “midship sports car” mentioned in the press release has been in development for years if we take into account Hyundai unveiled the Veloster Midship concept back in 2014, two years after kicking off the project. A year later, in 2015, the concept was updated for the RM15 by shaving off 195 kilograms while retaining the 300-bhp output from a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine.
In 2016, Hyundai tweaked the formula once again for the RM16 N that had a slightly revised exterior design. All three were lightweight, two-seater sports cars with a mid-engined layout and a low centre of gravity, while the “RM” in their names stood for “Racing Mid-ship.” In June 2018, a camouflaged prototype was spotted undergoing testing.
Towards the end of 2018, Hyundai revealed plans for a flagship N model, with the rumour mill pointing towards the direction of a mid-engined car. That would make sense now that we know the project is still alive and is being modified to accommodate a fully electric powertrain with help from Rimac.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AND KIA MOTORS INVEST 80M EUR IN RIMAC AND ESTABLISH A TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP
Hyundai Motor to invest 64M EUR; Kia Motors to invest 16M EUR; Rimac and Hyundai Motor Group form a technical partnership to collaborate on two high-performance electric vehicles by 2020
SEOUL, ZAGREB, 14 May 2019 – Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have jointly invested 80M Euros in Rimac Automobili (Rimac) - the Croatian high-performance electric vehicle technology and sportscar company. The companies have announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on the development of high-performance electric vehicles.
With the new collaboration underway, Hyundai Motor Group aims to speed up its transition towards Clean Mobility and position itself as a global leader in driving this change in the industry.
Rimac has established themselves as a leader in high-performance electric vehicle technology and as an electric sportscar manufacturer. The company continues to deliver EV technology supporting many industry partners, including Hyundai Motor Group, to accelerate their way towards an electric future.
Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Rimac will work closely together to develop an electric version of Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle. “Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.”
Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili, Mate Rimac said: “We are very impressed by the Hyundai Motor Group’s vision and prompt and decisive initiative. We believe that this technology partnership will create maximum value for our companies and their customers. Rimac is still a young and relatively small but fast-growing company. We see a strong investor and technology partner in Hyundai Motor Group and believe that this collaboration will charge the company’s position as a Tier-1 electrification components supplier to the industry.