The Pit

Meet Hyundai's Mid-Engined 'RM15'

BY Azfar Hashim

Latest concept demonstrates Hyundai Motor’s continued commitment to advanced vehicle technologies and materials; aluminum core structure with CFRP body panels minimizes vehicle weight

Hyundai Motor Company has revealed its latest mid-engined model, an aggressively-styled high-performance coupe concept named ‘RM15’ (Racing Midship 2015). The RM15 features an aluminum spaceframe as its core structure, with a covering of light, stiff body panels formed in carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which together help to achieve a significant weight saving compared to a conventional all-steel vehicle. The body panels are painted in the signature colors of the company’s ‘N’ (pale blue, black, red and Hyundai mid-blue), also featured on the Hyundai WRC i20 rally car.

Based on the Veloster RM shown at last year’s Busan Motor Show, the new RM15 features a host of modifications that boost the latest model’s performance, handling and efficiency. Total weight is reduced to 1,260 kg (a saving of 195 kg compared to an all-steel structure), weight distribution is more evenly balanced (43% front, 57% rear), the center of gravity is just 491 mm from the ground and aerodynamic downforce is 24 kg at 200 km/h, aided by a competitive lift-coefficient. Integrated sub-frame (front & rear) and a WRC-inspired roll-cage add extra stiffness to the structure, providing a firm foundation for the aluminium double-wishbone suspension, enabling it to give precise responses and consistent handling characteristics. RM15 rides on stylish 19-inch diameter mono block forged alloy wheels fitted with 235/35 R19 front and 265/35 R19 rear tyres.

New vertical air-intake placed ahead of the rear wheel arches increase cooling airflow within the engine bay and enhances powertrain efficiency.

Power comes from Hyundai Motor’s Theta 2.0-liter T-GDI engine mounted transversely behind the two-seater cabin and ahead of the rear axle, ensuring optimized weight distribution and a low moment of inertia for better handling agility and high levels of traction. The four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine generates 296 bhp at 6,000 rpm and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Maximum torque is rated at 383 Nm (@ 2,000 rpm), while the 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time is 4.7 seconds.