Hyundai RM19 points to future N brand performance flagship

Hyundai has used the LA motor show to reveal the RM19, a rolling test bed for technology that will yield a halo N performance model, possibly as soon as 2021

Hyundai’s N performance brand has pulled the covers from the RM19 ‘Racing Midship’ at the 2019 LA motor show. The mid-engined machine, with elements that could have been lifted directly from a WTCR race car, is being described as a ‘rolling test bed’ for technology that will fire Hyundai’s fast-car ambitions into the next decade. Crucially, however, it’s also a car with clear production intent behind it.

The RM19 points straight at the £100,000 N-brand halo car that could be in production by 2021. We’ll see an RM20 version next year that will be much closer to the production car and, shortly after that, well, it’ll be time to start scratching around for the deposit.

The super-aggressive, track inspired bodywork and aero-package of the RM19 makes it look like a Veloster that’s been locked in the gym for a year. The huge competition-style wing and rear diffuser dominate the tail view, the rear wheelarches jut uncompromisingly from the bodywork and there’s a front splitter on which you could rest your Cup a Soup.

Under the skin, things get even more interesting. There’s double wishbone suspension at all four corners, an e-differential and a braking system that locates huge ventilated discs behind the wheels. These elements, as well as the steering system, are said to be very close to those that will be fitted to the RM19’s production car offspring.

The mid-mounted engine in the RM19 is a 2-litre turbo unit with a 390bhp power output and torque of 332lb ft and which is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox straight out of a WTCR competition car. That makes for a claimed 0-60mph time of around 4sec, but you can forget about this powertrain for the production version. Hyundai has somewhat more exotic plans for its N-brand hero car and we’ve been tentatively directed to expect a hybrid powertrain of some kind with a dual-clutch gearbox. 

Speaking at the LA motor show, Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Division, said: ‘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.’

We await the next stage in Hyundai N’s journey to a production supercar with great interest.

Recommended

Hyundai Veloster N previews next i30 N’s new dual-clutch gearbox
Hyundai

Hyundai Veloster N previews next i30 N’s new dual-clutch gearbox

We’re still not getting the Veloster N, but we will get its new eight-speed dual-clutch ’box in the updated i30 N later this year
7 May 2020

Most Popular

'Traction control, ABS, airbags, lights, – one press of a button and they're all off. We're better off without them'
Richard Porter opinion
Opinion

'Traction control, ABS, airbags, lights, – one press of a button and they're all off. We're better off without them'

The Common Sense Car offers a glimmer of hope for British sports car lovers
19 Jan 2021
TOM’S Racing Toyota GR Yaris revealed – homologation special gains focus
TOM’S Racing Toyota GR Yaris front
Toyota GR Yaris

TOM’S Racing Toyota GR Yaris revealed – homologation special gains focus

Japanese racing outfit TOM’S becomes the latest firm to mod the new Toyota GR Yaris
20 Jan 2021
BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon
Audi RS7 vs M8 Comp GC - cornering
BMW

BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon

BMW's grandest of M8 Competition Gran Coupes takes on our impressive fast-fleet Audi RS7
16 Jan 2021