Hyundai’s ETCR car has “very few” similarities to the brand’s existing TCR platform despite both being based on the Veloster N, according to Hyundai Motorsport director Andrea Adamo.
The new car, launched on Tuesday at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, is based on the gasoline-powered Veloster N road car which also provides the foundation for one of Hyundai’s two current TCR models.
The Veloster N TCR was introduced alongside the existing i30 N TCR this year for the North American market, where it competes in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and SRO America’s TC America series.
“Honestly, we’re excited to keep the same bodywork of the TCR version because we want to put the attention on the technology, not on the image and bodywork, and so on,” Adamo told e-racing365.
“Maybe I’m a strange Italian by dealing in facts, not in show. It’s good to start on the same base.
“It’s a very nice challenge because it’s all new for us, to understand how to work with electric [cars] and from the management, the training, to understand how it works.”
While sharing bodywork with its TCR counterpart, the Veloster N ETCR is almost completely different underneath, not least because it features a mid-mounted motor and rear-wheel-drive setup.
“It’s also the first rear-wheel-driven car that Hyundai Motorsport has designed,” Adamo explained. “It’s nice to have so many new things altogether.
“Front the front to the rear, it’s all new. The floor is now full of batteries and the rear has been modified in order to place the electric motor and inverter.
“In the front, the suspension is pretty similar to the TCR one, it’s closely derived, we just modified slightly a bit of the geometry because we have no traction in the front.
“I have to say, we’ve kept in the first prototype some commonalities with the TCR, but very few.”
The Veloster N ETCR is unusual amongst electric race cars in that it is based on an ICE road car. The Cupra e-Racer, currently the only other car built to ETCR regulations, is based on a brand-new platform, meanwhile.
Hyundai currently has two fully electric road cars: the Ioniq hatchback and Kona crossover.
Testing to Continue in Coming Months
The Veloster N ETCR’s testing program will continue later this month after an initial shakedown was completed in August.
“The plan is to spend as much time as possible testing,” Adamo said.
“We will go testing around Europe before the Christmas period and we’re waiting for a common test plan that WSC (TCR and ETCR’s organizing body) is planning to do for next year.
“We want to arrive well prepared. It’s all brand new so we want to be prepared for this new challenge.”
Adamo suggested that reigning FIA WTCR champion Gabriele Tarquini won’t be part of Hyundai’s ETCR development for the time being despite the Italian appearing in a teaser video released last week.
“So far, I’m not planning to use him as test driver because I want him to keep focus on WTCR and TCR development,” Adamo confirmed.
Tarquini is currently tenth in the WTCR standings while Hyundai’s teams, which use the i30 N TCR in the global series, are third and fourth in the teams’ championship.