The electric sports car that Hyundai is developing with Rimac will be a “game-changer” for the South Korean automaker and will influence the way it creates cars, said Hyundai’s head of European design, Thomas Beurkle.
Hyundai Motor announced on Tuesday that it was investing 80 million euros ($89 million) to take an undisclosed percentage stake in Croatian electric sportscar developer Rimac.
Two models will result from the investment: a sports car for Hyundai’s N performance subbrand and a fuel cell car, likely for Kia.
The new sports car will be a benchmark that would “influence the thinking in the engineering teams in the design teams in the marketing teams,” Beurkle told Automotive News Europe at a Hyundai UK press event on Wednesday.
“You could say it is a marketing instrument on the outside but it’s also a game changer on the inside,” he said.
The design of the car needs to make it very clear it has a different drivetrain, rather have onlookers think it’s powered by a big combustion engine, Beurkle said.
“We have to speak to people who want to be advanced, who want to lead in terms of taste and style and also being less conventional,” he said. “It will be a real challenge for the design department to work on this.”