Can Hyundai build a Porsche Taycan rival? Can a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle be high-performance? What about an eight-seat SUV?
Yesterday may have been April Fool’s Day, but it doesn’t seem like the time for jokes. However, in the spirit of the day and to try and lift people’s spirits, Hyundai released a trio of hypothetical future N Performance models via social media.
The three were the US-only (for now) Palisade, the fuel cell Nexo SUV and the striking Prophecy concept unveiled last month. All three were given a digital transformation to see what they’d look like as N models – complete with Performance Blue paint jobs, bigger wheels and red and black body trim highlights.
The Palisade N is the most likely one to end up becoming a reality. Currently only available in the US market, Hyundai Australia has made little secret of its interest in adding the full-size SUV to its local line-up, if right-hand drive production becomes available. Given the popularity of SUVs locally and the success of the i30 N a hi-po version of the Palisade – perhaps with a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 – could make an appealing proposition for families.
The Nexo N is a lot less likely to make it off the computer screen and into production. The Nexo is the brand’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) that uses an onboard fuel stack to turn pressurised hydrogen into electricity to power its electric motors. While there’s certainly potential to dial up the performance with bigger electric motors, the complexity and cost of doing so would make it far too expensive to have any chance of market success.
Finally, the Prophecy N is a concept version of a concept car. Originally meant to be the star attraction on Hyundai’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show, it was given a virtual launch instead when the show was cancelled. Designed to showcase the brand’s next generation of design and engineering it features an electric powertrain and joysticks instead of steering wheels.
Given Hyundai’s stake in Croatian electric powertrain specialists, Rimac (the same company supplying the Aston Martin Valkyrie project), it’s not a stretch to imagine the Prophecy N as an alternative to the all-electric Porsche Taycan.
Unfortunately, these are all just ideas that aren’t like to be on any serious product planning discussion at Hyundai. But, still, it was nice to see a car company have a bit of fun at a time like this. Of course, it’s worth noting that last year Hyundai Germany made an April Fool’s joke about an iMax N and Hyundai Australia went and built a real-life version. So maybe we shouldn’t give up hope that any of these three could turn into an actual car just yet…