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The Secret To Hyundai N's Halo Car Is The Kona EV Crossover

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This can't be for real, can it?

Hyundai has been tight-lipped on its supposed upcoming halo car, which according to a new Autocar report won't come before 2022. The South Korean automaker is taking its time to make sure it does it right. But there are some new details to report that are of particular interest. Company sources told Autocar there's a general consensus the halo car will feature all-wheel-drive and a hybrid powertrain. It won't be an all-electric.

Developed by Hyundai's N performance division, led by former BMW M engineering chief Dr. Albert Biermann, who was also recently appointed Hyundai's R&D chief, the halo car's powertrain appears to be the main focus these days.

"We're developing more powerful combustion engines for future cars," said GyooHeon Choi, vice president of Hyundai N. "But also more powerful electric powertrains; experimental performance fuel cells, too. Conventional four-wheel drive is an option for the (halo) car, but it is very old technology. I would prefer to think about a front-engined hybridized platform with a rear-mounted electric motor."

Pricing is also an issue. Another Hyundai executive reiterated that one "challenge is to make the product affordable but also credible in the way we define any Hyundai N car."

It should also be pointed out that Hyundai already has the technology to produce a 500-hp hybrid. There's the N-brand 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbo four-cylinder, found in the new Veloster N, capable of producing upwards of 275 hp. Combine that with the rear-mounted electric powertrain from the also new Kona Electric crossover, add a modern AWD system, and nearly 500 hp is possible.

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Another question still remains unanswered: which body style will be chosen? A four-door coupe similar to the Kia Stinger GT, a more traditional two-door coupe, and even a mid-engined setup, previously tested on a Veloster-based prototype, are all under consideration. Unless circumstances change, Hyundai N is definitely proceeding with a halo model but there's no immediate rush to bring it to market.