Whatever they’re putting in the water cooler at Hyundai, we want some. Hyundai has been dabbling with a mid-engine sports car concept since 2012. That’s no secret. However, nobody really expected the carmaker to actually put it into production.
Well, imagine the collective jaw-dropping when the latest prototype; dubbed the RM19, was displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show with an insider letting the cat out of the bag that a subtler is heading for the assembly line.
The first RM; Racing Midship, first debuted in 2014 and was based on the Veloster Turbo with the engine residing behind the driver and driving the rear wheels. This new one is a little more extreme as it houses the company’s TCR racing engine and shares more than a passing resemblance to the Veloster TCR race machine.
Not being restricted by regulations, the 2.0-litre turbo inline-four TCR engine has been cranked up to 390hp. Hyundai estimates it’ll do the century sprint in under four seconds with racecar-levels of handling without being overwhelming for road use.
“The RM platform is a versatile engineering testbed, allowing effective evaluation of various powertrains and performance levels, all on normal roads and environments. Throughout the evolution of the RM series, our engineers have gained tremendous hands-on knowledge of high performance vehicle dynamics with various front-to-rear weight distributions coupled with the effects of a fully-weighted, high-strength body structure on vehicle performance,” said Albert Biermann, the Head of Hyundai R&D and former BMW M head honcho.
Since making the hop across, Biermann has been injecting serious performance caliber into Hyundai’s N cars. His first project; the Veloster N, was so good that it won Road & Track’s Performance Car of the Year, beating out the likes of the Toyota Supra, McLaren 600LT Spider, Porsche 911, Lotus Evora and even the new mid-engine Chevy Corvette C8.
So yeah, it might be a huge leap into the unknown for the marque but the prospects are more than promising.
Say it again with us… mig-engine Hyundai sports car. What a time to be alive?