Hyundai set to build Porsche rival
HYUNDAI looks set to sell a mid-engine rival to Porsche's Cayman as part of its performance push.
The brand unveiled its fourth-generation "racing midship" concept at the LA motor show this week, blending the turbocharged engine of its championship-winning TCR race car with wide bodywork based on the new Hyundai Veloster and a prototype chassis driving the rear wheels.
Hyundai says it has been working on the project for seven years.
US magazine Road and Track says "Hyundai insider with knowledge of the RM19 project confirmed to Road & Track a toned-down version of this car is heading for production".
Thomas Schemera, Hyundai's head of product, says the RM19 concept "signals future brand aspirations for Hyundai's high-performance N brand".
He says Hyundai will offer high-performance combustion engines and electrified powertrains in the future.
The latter may come from Hyundai's partnership with Croatian EV specialist Rimac.
Albert Biermann, head of global research and development for Hyundai and creator of the i30 N hot hatch, says the mid-engine machine is a "versatile engineering testbed".
"Throughout the evolution of the RM series, our engineers have gained tremendous hands-on knowledge of high performance vehicle dynamics with various front-to-rear weight distributions coupled with the effects of a fully-weighted, high-strength body structure on vehicle performance."
A production version of the RM19 would join elite company including the likes of Porsche's Cayman, the Alpine A110, Lamborghini Huracan, Audi R8 and McLaren range with a mid-engine balance.