Hyundai has committed to ETCR, with the Korean manufacturer set to build an all-electric car to the new platform for its planned 2020 launch, according to Hyundai N brand boss Albert Biermann.
Biermann confirmed to e-racing365 plans to retrofit its new-for-2019 Veloster N TCR to ETCR specification, which includes a spec dual-motor and battery provided by WSC Technology.
“We are fully supporting ETCR,” Biermann told e-racing365. “We will build the car soon. We will try to support the promotion activities next year.”
As revealed by e-racing365 last month, Hyundai had been tipped to join ETCR following the platform’s launch at Barcelona last month.
It is the second manufacturer to officially declare an ETCR program alongside SEAT subsidiary Cupra, which has worked with organizers in the development of the technology package.
While there are no current plans for a Veloster EV production car, ETCR regulations allow manufacturers to adapt the electric powertrain to existing models, even if there is no road-going counterpart.
Biermann believes its participation will help raise further awareness of Hyundai’s growing lineup of EVs, including the recently launched Kona EV compact crossover.
“When we go into ETCR, we want to promote the competence of our EVs,” he said.
“Right now we’re launching the EVs that are the most affordable with the biggest electric driving range. To demonstrate this on the track, that’s also a good thing to do.
“Sooner or later we will have Hyundai N cars with electrification.
“If this is just a mild hybrid, hybrid or plug-in hybrid or maybe later a full EV, that is a matter of timing.
“But you can make sure Hyundai N will also make sure when the combustion engine has to be restricted more and more, the fun-to-drive Hyundai N will not die.”
While details on the program have not been released, Biermann indicated it would likely begin with a factory presence, although the aim, as with the TCR model globally, will be on customers.
He said the spec powertrain is a “reasonable” measure to keep costs in line initially.
“If we open the box like other [electric championships] did… As you know, such kind of racing series have cycles of five years or maximum ten years and they die,” Biermann said.
“I fully support in keeping an affordable level of technology [in ETCR] for customer racing where private teams can also participate on a global scale.”
Audi: EV Racing Focus for Formula E
Head of Audi sport customer racing Chris Reinke has essentially ruled out an ETCR car, stating that the German manufacturer will puts its EV attention exclusively in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
“We have to say when it comes to strategic positioning of [EV] competence, that’s why we are in Formula E,” Reinke told e-racing365.
“I guess we’re less desperate than other brands to prove our competence in e-drivetrains through an ETCR project.”
Reinke indicated that the initial period of a spec powertrain and battery in ETCR is not not a selling point for Audi, which entered TCR market last year with the RS 3 LMS.
“At the early stage where electric drive technology is these days, it would for sure be attractive for Audi to make a difference by being involved in development of the powertrain,” he said.
“But that would make it a strategic factory racing project and would need a different budget.
“That commitment clearly is for Formula E.”