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Hyundai: DPi “One of the Options” for Future Expansion

Hyundai N brand boss Albert Biermann confirms DPi is “one of the options” for the future…

Photo: John Dagys

Hyundai N brand boss Albert Biermann has confirmed DPi talks, amid increasing speculation of a potential prototype effort by as early as the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

The Korean manufacturer, which recently announced its foray into IMSA competition with the new-for-2019 Veloster N TCR with Bryan Herta Autosport, has targeted an expanded motorsports presence, particularly in the North American market.

Sportscar365 has learned that dialogue with top-level teams have begun for a possible two-car factory operation that would debut in the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Biermann, who heads up Hyundai’s newly reorganized N business division which now includes motorsports, downplayed any imminent decision, saying DPi has been something the company has been looking into for “some time”.

“There’s no decision within our company if we would go there at all,” he told Sportscar365.

“There’s always talks going on. We now have our N business operations and headquarters and they have a motorsport team. The first result was to go to TCR.

“Then we made the motorsport team and they are always considering different options.

“Of course DPi is one of the options but nothing has been decided yet.”

Biermann indicated that a potential DPi program may not necessarily fall under Hyundai badging but instead its Genesis luxury brand or Kia.

“It’s still an open race,” he said. “We look at all kinds of things. But we are far away from making any decisions how to move on.

“For the Hyundai brand right now, I think we’re more than fine right now. It’s very good. The other brands, maybe we need to come up with something.

“Let’s see where we can find the other aspects of motorsport in our Hyundai Motor Group.”

In addition to its global TCR program, Hyundai has been present in the FIA World Rally Championship since 2014, with both operations based in Germany.

Hyundai in ACO Hydrogen Working Group

Biermann revealed that Hyundai is active in the ACO’s technical working group on hydrogen technology.

The ACO has laid out the goal of launching a zero-emissions category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024, with other manufacturers, including BMW, also taking part in the meetings. 

“There’s a working group working on hydrogen and we are part of that,” Biermann said.

“We’re the leading hydrogen company. We already have our second-generation hydrogen car on the road, the Nexo.

“It has the latest technology in hydrogen, so that could be something interesting for us.”

Biermann said they’ve ruled out taking part in the planned ‘Hypercar’ regulations for 2020, citing cost reasons. 

“I think the ticket to go to Le Mans is way too expensive,” he said.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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