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Hyundai N Vision 74: full details and review of the retro hydrogen concept car

We’ve drive Hyundai’s high-performance hydrogen-powered concept, with over 670bhp and styling inspired by Giugiaro’s 1974 Pony Coupe

The internet-breaking N Vision 74 is Hyundai’s latest alternatively-fuelled performance-car concept. It combines the wedge-shaped silhouette of the 1974 Pony Coupe concept (designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro) with what Hyundai says is the most advanced hydrogen fuel-cell system it has produced to date.

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Underneath the retro 1970’s bodywork is a unique powertrain consisting of a 62.4kWh T-shaped battery mounted low down in the centre of the car, the fuel-cell stack mounted over the front wheels and a pair of electric motors powering the rear wheels. Mounted above them are two 2.1kg hydrogen tanks.

Total power output from the car’s two electric motors is 671bhp and there’s 900Nm of torque, which is enough for 0-62mph in four seconds. The other advantage of this setup is a claimed driving range of over 370 miles, and the hydrogen tanks can be refilled in just five minutes, according to Hyundai.

This isn't the first time Hyundai has advanced the idea of a hydrogen fuel-cell performance model. In 2021, the brand unveiled the Vision FK prototype: a two-door sports car with similar stats to the N Vision 74. It used a Hyundai designed and built fuel-cell stack, coupled with a plug-in electric powertrain that was developed in collaboration with electric supercar brand Rimac, which Hyundai currently holds a 12% stake in.

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According to Hyundai’s head of research and development, Albert Biermann, the Vision FK will eventually go into production and will be the first car of its kind to use this powertrain. He said: “The Vision FK is one of our rolling lab projects where we challenge our engineers to drive forward… the packaging situation of this vehicle, which has a combination of a high-power battery electric system and a fuel cell system, is very challenging.”

Elsewhere, Hyundai’s ‘N’ division has already confirmed its first electric car, the Ioniq 5 N, will arrive in 2023, and given us a sneak peak at a highly potent version of the Ioniq 6 saloon in the form of the RN22e concept, which we've also driven.

Hyundai N Vision 74 drive

Unlike the majority of concept cars unveiled these days, the N Vision 74 isn’t just a staggering thing to look at, the bold, retro-inspired coupe that, to our eye, resembles a drift car sent from the future, is in fact driveable. 

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And if its bold looks aren’t enough to prove this isn’t just another eco-machine; it can hold a huge, tyre-burning powerslide as we experienced first hand during a passenger ride before we got behind the wheel.

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Under the metal, the virtually priceless N Vision 74 is at the cutting edge of Hyundai’s technology, and what’s particularly impressive is how the two power sources work together, or independently at times. At normal speeds, the car is usually powered by the fuel cell, but the battery can kick in to provide a major performance boost, and also often propels the vehicle in town or the city. 

Even the cabin of the N Vision 74 is something to behold, and once we’re nestled in the race seats, all you can hear is the whirr of the fans that push the hydrogen through the stack and the cooling set-up. We set off in Normal mode, and immediately the car’s shattering performance was obvious, despite it weighing in at around two tonnes. 

The accurate, well weighted steering impresses, too, as does the concept’s ability to stay relatively flat in corners, providing just enough body roll to hint at what the chassis is doing. Switch to Track mode, and the almost silent coupe can be fully unleashed, able to drift virtually anywhere and at any speed. It feels extremely agile and the way it can go sideways; it’s unlike any other high-performance car we’ve tried.

We’re still a long way from a car like the N Vision 74 being viable for consumers, largely because of the lack of hydrogen filling stations generally, not just in the UK. But, this wild, wedge-shaped concept gives us a tantalising glimpse of what a hydrogen-powered future could hold. In the meantime though, we just hope Hyundai listens to the calls to bring a car that looks like this one to market.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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