The midengine Hyundai N RM19 prototype is much more than a Veloster with a humongous wing

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November 20, 2019 02:22 PM

The midengine Hyundai N RM19 prototype is much more than a Veloster with a humongous wing

Albert Biermann calls it an “engineering testbed,” but it might also preview a high-performance halo car.

Graham Kozak

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The Hyundai N RM19 packs a 390-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four—and it’s parked behind the driver.

The Hyundai N RM19 looks, at first glance, like nothing more than a Veloster with a huge wing, a huge rear box diffuser, a full body kit that includes incredibly wide fender flares at all four corners … OK, so it’s pretty clear that this is not just a Veloster.
But what’s not immediately obvious is that the RM19 unveiled at the 2019 LA Auto Show is actually a two-seat rear-midengine exotic that merely wears the Veloster’s skin as a disguise.
Hyundai’s head of global research and development and all-around performance wizard Albert Biermann calls the RM19 “a versatile engineering testbed, allowing effective evaluation of various powertrains and performance levels, all on normal roads and environments.”

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The ‘N’ of Hyundai N stands for Namyang, home to Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Center in Korea since 1995.

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The Hyundai RM19 gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine with an output of 390 horsepower.

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The Hyundai RM19 is expected to yield 0-60 mph performance under four seconds.

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The RM19 shares the 2.0-liter turbo engine with TCR racecars from Hyundai N development.

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

Share

Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

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Called RM for “racing midship,” the Hyundai RM19 prototype is a 390-hp testbed for future iterations of the company’s high-performance N brand.

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It isn’t the first: RM19 follows the RM14, RM15 and RM16 testbeds (their names refer to the years they were introduced, hence the gaps). But it is the first since we got behind the wheel of the Veloster N and realized that there was something special going on in Namyang.
Tech-wise, the RM19 borrows heavily from the Veloster N TCR program, but since it’s not designed for competition it is free to diverge even more dramatically from the production car. It could gain a hybrid drivetrain at some point, says Hyundai, perhaps giving it all-wheel drive. Or it could even spawn a full electric variant—something that would allow Hyundai to capitalize on its investment in EV supercar-builder Rimac.
For now, the most obvious departure from the TCR car, and the Veloster N upon which that race car is based, is its rear-midengine layout. Its engine is now cradled in the custom steel tube and plate rear subframe behind the driver (and the single passenger; there are just two seats here).

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Beyond that, its turbocharged 2.0-liter direct injection engine has been de-restricted; it produces something in the neighborhood of 390 hp. Mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox also borrowed from the TCR car, Hyundai calls it “the most powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine of its kind.” Compared to the other engine going for that title—the 382-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four in the new Mercedes-AMG CLA45 — it would seem to come out on top.
However, the AMG powerplant is a homologated engine in a series production car, and this motor is not—for now. Hyundai maintains that the RM19 could inform a future halo car for the N brand, something that sits well above the Veloster N in terms of performance capability, though hopefully not price. But it hasn’t given us anything to go on beyond that.
So why should we be excited about what is, for the moment at least, a strange Korean science experiment?
It’s mostly because Biermann & Co. have done such a fine job with the Veloster N, the first N brand product sold in our market. There really isn’t anything else in the Hyundai lineup—no Hyundai version of the Kia Stinger—for them to tinker with. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish when given a blank sheet of paper, so long as the result is still (relatively) attainable for the average enthusiast.
Until then, let this serve as a reminder to check out that Veloster N if you haven’t already.

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Source:https://autoweek.com/article/los-angeles-auto-show/midengine-hyundai-n-rm19-prototype-much-more-veloster-humongous-wing

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