Holy smokes. Hyundai’s mid-engined RM16N is real. Here are the spy pics and a new video (below) to prove it from a fresh bout of testing around the Nurburgring. For those of you with short memories, the RM16N is a mid-engined hyper hatch from Hyundai’s new N performance brand mean’t to showcase the future of the next Veloster.
The RM16 concept car (below) was shown at the Busan auto show in South Korea in summer 2016 and we thought that was kind of that – another flight of fancy that would live on in digital renderings and never see the light of day. But now we get to see it testing the coupe/hot hatch hybrid at the Nordschleife.
When you think about it, it’s kind of like a modern day equivalent of the Renault Clio V6 from the East. Unfortunately it’s hard to know if Hyundai is following the mechanical formula of the concept car itself. This could be just for component or powertrain evaluation for the new hot i20 / i30 N previewed at Paris with the RN30 Concept – but we’d love to think it’s evidence of new sports car that’s on the way. This prototype certainly features some pretty aggressive bodywork, with gaping side intakes to feed air to the mid-mounted engine.
The RM16 concept had a 220kW mid-mounted 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, with an electric compressor, that drove the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. The car was designed as one of a series of concepts probing a potential successor to the rather feeble Veloster.
Does this mean that Hyundai will build the RM16? Frankly, it’s hard to say, but where there’s smoke there is fire. And the Koreans clearly seem keen to commit to serious hot hatch machinery.