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Hyundai RM19 Concept unveiled: Modern take on the Clio V6?

Published : 02nd December 2019

6 months ago

With the incredibly positive reception of the brand’s first performance car, the i30 N, Hyundai’s motorsport arm continues to expand its operations. The N Brand is starting to look a lot like Renault Sport in the early 2000s with a fantastic handling hot-hatch, growing motorsport prowess, and now a mid-engined prototype based on a regular hatch.

Hyundai N unashamedly benchmarked the Renault Megane RS in the creation if the i30 N, with that car suitably destabilising the hot-hatch kingdom, it now seems they’ve consulted Dieppe’s back catalogue with a contemporary incarnation of the Clio V6.

The Korean brand claims the RM19 concept could be the beginning of a premium sports-car assault, with engineers referencing hallowed sports coupe names – think Hyundai versus the Porsche Cayman, BMW M2, and – another Renault reference – the Alpine A110.

2005 Renault Clio V6

With Albert Biermann – director of the storied BMW M brand during some fine years – spearheading the RM19’s development, we can expect the production car to perform well indeed.

For now, the RM19 remains just a concept, with the name standing for ‘Racing Midship’, the functional prototype is equipped with a mid-mounted 290kW two-litre turbocharged engine borrowed from the brand’s TCR series racecar, powering the rear-wheels only.

According to Hyundai, the RM19 should complete the 0-100km/h sprint in under four seconds, though with midship handling balance this prototype will be more than merely a straight-line bandit.

2020 Hyundai N RM19 Concept - 2

The RM19’s shell is based on a three-door Veloster, though there are some pretty glaring modifications, starting with huge eighties-style box-flares which increases the car’s width to 1,945mm, a massive 145mm wider than 1,800mm road-going car.

From the rear it’s clear the RM19 prototype is a race car (for now), the humongous chassis-mounted rear wing protrudes hilariously from the body-work, the vast rear-diffuser poking out of the bumper like the bottom lip of an irate six-year-old, it looks proper nuts.

And yet, Hyundai claim this concept will lead to something that has “racecar-like levels of performance, balance, braking, and grip while retaining daily road-going capability”, so expect more refinements in the future, though it’s unlikely the wing and diffuser would pass Australian design rules.

2020 Hyundai N RM19 Concept - 1

The concept shown here is not the first development of midship for the N brand either, the project began back in 2012 and has created previous prototypes the RM14, RM15, and RM16, it’s obvious Hyundai wants to create something proper, then.

As well as a turbocharged petrol engine, Hyundai claims that additionally, we can expect to find variations on the theme, with high-performance hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full battery electric powertrains all on the cards.

It’s in collaboration with Croatian EV startup Rimac – which Hyundai and Kia have invested $90 million US in – that the company will develop these high-performance battery electric drivetrains, we can’t wait to see what kind of mind-bending acceleration will come from that powertrain.

Hyundai’s ambitious targeting of hot-hatch titans has proven successful, we can’t wait to see the RM19 evolve into Porsche Cayman rival.