The idea of a hybrid electric and fuel cell-powered land speed record may not be new but that hasn’t stopped Hyundai from realising it (with production cars). Back in 2016 the company even set the land speed record for a production-based hybrid car with their Ioniq Hybrid. Naturally, fuel cell cars were next on the list.
The Korean automaker was out in the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah gunning for a couple of land speed records it hoped to bag in time for the SEMA show next month.
Hyundai fielded its Nexo SUV for the hydrogen fuel cell category and Sonata Hybrid for the petrol electric hybrid. The Nexo looked to take the record with a clocked speed of 106.160mph (170.85km/h) while the Sonata came in at 164.669mph (265.1km/h). Both record attempts are pending FIA approval.
However, before the duo could hit the haloed salt flats, Hyundai made sure that they were ready to take on the business of record breaking. The stock Nexo was fitted with an FIA-approved roll cage, safety seat, six-point safety harness, a fire suppression system and safety nets on the inside while the exterior got a custom body wrap and an aero valence to help the SUV cut through the air.
The Sonata on the other hand had more extensive work done to it. Under the bonnet, the Hyundai boffins installed an Injen-sourced 3-inch exhaust system with custom headers and a dual tank nitrous oxide delivery system while the four-cylinder engine was fed RON 109 race fuel and managed by a custom ECU. The chassis received a new KW strut, shock and spring package. Goodyear land-speed tires were also installed. For added safety, a high-speed parachute and a high-performance braking system was fitted. The Sonata’s interior mimics that of the Nexo.
As mentioned, the eco duo’s land speed record attempt have yet to be confirmed pending FIA approval and will be present at the SEMA trade show in Las Vegas early next month.