Here’s the story behind the ‘1000 hp’ Hyundai Kona EV

Ex-Hyundai Motorsport WRC driver and Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon has unleashed Paddon Rallysport’s 1000 hp capable Hyundai Kona EV – the NZEVRC1. 18 months in the making, the all-electric rally car has been developed in association with Hyundai’s New Zealand subsidiary and will make its competitive debut in the coming months.

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You don’t need to look carefully to ascertain that there’s barely anything on the Paddon Rallysport’s Hyundai Kona EV that is stock. Almost everything, from the chassis design, to the aerodynamics, suspension, steering and powertrain, has been extensively modified. Hayden Paddon told’s editors earlier this year that only the body shell and cosmetic parts are in the factory version. The subframes, suspension arms, dampers are custom.

Paddon Rallysport worked not only with Hyundai (New Zealand) but various other companies like Meridian Energy, YHI Energy, STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development), Pirelli and more to make the 1000 hp Hyundai Kona EV a reality. The motorsport team has ensured that despite the silent all-electric powertrain, the rally car makes a loud (and distinctive) sound for safety and the spectators’ enjoyment.

The EV package of the Hyundai Kona EV Paddon Rallysport has made can deliver over 800 kW (1,072 hp). However, for the time being, the Hayden Paddon-led team has focused on a 400+ kW or 536+ horsepower rally version. In rally spec, this particular Hyundai Kona EV has the same suspension travel as a WRC car and weighs approximately 1,400 kg or 3,086 lb.

From our exclusive interaction with Paddon, we understand that his team can put two, three or four motors in the custom Hyundai Kona EV, and that each of these motors generates 220 kW or 295 horsepower. There are two transmissions, one located at the front and the other one at the rear. We also got to know what the four-motor, 800 kW/1,072 hp capability would be used for – hill climb. Transitioning between the rally version and the hill climb version is very easy, he told us.

Paddon Rallysport aims to start competing with the 1000 hp Hyundai Kona EV in local rallies and championships from next year.

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