Hyundai has yet to give the world a mid-engined car, though not for the lack of trying as it unveils the fourth iteration of its “Racing Midship” mid-engine racing prototypes at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Christened the Hyundai RM19, the new prototype is based on the new Veloster and serves as a follow up to the RM 14, RM15, and RM16 concepts, all of which were based on the previous-generation Veloster.
Where its predecessors featured the 2-litre T-GDi engines from its road cars, the RM19’s powerplant of choice hails from Hyundai’s TCR racers. Free of TCR regulation restrictions and tuned with extra boost to yield 290kW, the engine is said to be able to punt the rear-driven RM19 from 0 to 97km/h (0-60mph) in less than four seconds.
That being said, the RM19’s drivetrain is surprisingly old-school compared to its predecessor, the RM16, which employed a sophisticated 48V electric supercharger to massage power outputs to a healthy 220kW.
Like its predecessors, Hyundai says the RM19 serves as a development platform in evaluating different powertrain and performance levels for “future N brand products”, including a “potential brand-halo car”.
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Hyundai isn’t ruling out the utilisation of the electrified drivetrains for their high-performance models with the company working closely with its strategic partner, Rimac Automobili, to develop high-performance electric and fuel cell prototypes.
“The RM19 signals future brand aspirations for Hyundai’s high-performance N brand, solidly moving N into the prestigious arena of supercar-level performance,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of product at Hyundai Motor Group.