Hyundai has taken the covers off its latest mid-engined Veloster-based concept this week, with the RM16 concept making its first public appearance at the Busan Motor Show in South Korea.
The RM16 (which stands for Racing Midship 2016) is the third concept of its type, following from the RM14 and RM15. Like those cars, the RM16 plonks a turbocharged direct-injected 2.0 litre motor behind the front seats of a Veloster-bodied spaceframe chassis, with power going to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual.
Power output doesn’t change for the RM16, with the RM15’s 220kW output carrying over. Its 43:57 front:rear weight distribution is also the same as the 2015 car.
The focus is instead on aerodynamic improvements, which see the RM16 sport a cleaner design with a rear spoiler rather than a racecar-style wing.
The carbon-fibre bodywork forward of the A-pillar is also heavily revised, with completely new bumper design, headlamps and bonnet that just might preview the face of the next-generation Hyundai Veloster Turbo (current model below).
There’s also more attention give to weight saving, with an unspecified amount of kilos carved from the RM16’s aluminium space frame chassis and carbon body panels.
Mechanical upgrades aren’t entirely absent though. An electric supercharger may not change peak output, but adds a “torque fill” capability that reduces turbo lag at low rpm. Meanwhile an electronic limited slip differential helps manage traction by limiting wheelspin on the rear axle.
An electronically-variable exhaust gives the RM16 an aggressive engine note, while new sports seats automatically adjust their bolsters as lateral G forces increase, helping to keep driver and passenger in place.
Alas, Hyundai has no plans to bring a production version of the RM16 concept to market. Instead, the mid-engined sports car serves as a “rolling lab” for Hyundai’s performance-focused N division, which is currently busy putting the finishing touches on its first standalone model - a 194kW/375Nm i30-based hot hatch.