Hyundai's made another mid-engined concept car | Top Gear
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Hyundai's made another mid-engined concept car

The RM19 uses a 390bhp racecar engine, but might actually preview an EV supercar

Published: 21 Nov 2019

Welcome, Internet, to the latest instalment of Hyundai’s odd little RM series. Its occasional dabble into Velosters-with-the-engine-in-the-back has resurfaced with renewed vigour thanks to a motorsport livery, a racecar engine and a ginormous wing.

The RM19 – following such ancestors as the RM16 (guess what year that was made) – sticks the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine from the i30 and Veloster TCR touring cars behind the front seats. But without stringent racing rulebooks to worry about, it produces more power here, at 390bhp. A preview of how Hyundai might turn the wick up on its i30N hot hatch? Perhaps…

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The meaning of the rest of the RM19 is still joyously ambiguous. N division boss Albert Biermann describes it as “a versatile engineering testbed” and essentially a good way for a company without much knowledge in mid-engined cars to get a feel for how to set one up.

“The RM19 sports car signals future brand aspirations for Hyundai’s high-performance N brand, solidly moving N into the prestigious arena of supercar-level performance,” adds Hyundai product boss Thomas Schemera.

“Hyundai N will not only increase heartbeats per minute via powerful internal combustion engines, but also through the instantaneous torque and environmental sustainability of electrified powertrains moving forward.”

Now, ignore the slightly cloying phrasing in the first half of that sentence, because the rest of it is pretty blooming important: for all this RM19 uses a petrol-powered touring car engine, there’s a very good chance the actual Hyundai performance car we see in showrooms will be plug-in. Not least because of the company’s tie-up with Rimac to produce such things.

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For now, take some solace that the team developing that car – whichever form it may take – spends its working hours throwing a mid-engine, rear-drive coupe with a sequential gearbox around the Nürburgring. They’re car people. Whatever comes along from Hyundai and Rimac’s venture, there ought to be some decent sports car DNA in there…

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