There have been a lot of interesting rumblings coming from Hyundai’s N division recently. The i30 N proved itself to be one of the biggest surprises the hot hatch market has seen in recent years, elbowing its way into the crowded marketplace dominated by the Golf GTI and the Focus ST and so on, and saying ‘Listen fellas, this is how it’s really done’.
It’s a bloody brilliant car, and its success can be largely attributed to the fact that Hyundai poached Albert Biermann from BMW’s M Division to teach the engineers how to make engaging sports cars. The i30 N isn’t just a one-off either; you may remember the N drift van that we recently reported on. And just look what madness they’ve been up to now – a mid-engined hatchback, for goodness’ sake.
The RM19 Racing Midship Sports Car Prototype has a Touring Car engine shoved in the middle, a 2.0-litre four-pot kicking out 390bhp, which slingshots it to 62mph in under four seconds. The pumped-up Veloster shell has all sorts of crazy aero, and hiding underneath are a race-derived double-wishbone suspension setup, Touring Car sequential gearbox, and electronic LSD.
This is a test-bed rather than something that heralds an actual production model, but the very fact that Hyundai is developing this kind of stuff suggests that the 2020s are about to get pretty rowdy…