While Hyundai continues to hype its brand-new Genesis luxury brand, the Korean automaker is quietly making large strides toward the impending launch of their “N” performance division. At the 2016 Busan auto show, Hyundai yanked the covers off an insane concept car that we can only hope previews the future of Korean performance cars.
This hyper-aggressive hatch is called the RM16, a concept that is essentially a mid-engined Veloster packed to the brim with some of Hyundai’s experimental performance technology. Power comes from a 295 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
Visually, the RM16 might share the silhouette with the Veloster, but the uber-hatch wears sharpened body lines and an aggressive aerodynamic package. Each of the body panels are made of lightweight carbon reinforced plastic, ensuring the hatch is as light as it looks. The engine is slotted right in the middle, held in place by an aluminum spaceframe, giving the concept a weight distribution ratio of 43/57 front and rear.
Hyundai claims the engine features “electric supercharging,” meaning the turbochargers are able to spool up quicker at low RPMs thanks to auxiliary electric motors. We drove a 350-hp Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde with an electric supercharger last year, and the results were spectacular. The engine was a tiny 1.75-liter, but the power was relentless, an endless wave of scenery-blurring thrust. If this is the future of Hyundai performance powertrains, count us in.
As much as we would love to see a mid-engined super-hatch as Hyundai’s first offering from the N division, we must hold more realistic expectations. Look for a front-engined, front-wheel drive hot hatch with 260 hp and a six-speed manual transmission as N’s first outing. We’re still excited.
If you have a Korean performance itch you just need to scratch immediately, the new Genesis brand revealed a new Sport variant of the G80 sedan. Power comes from the tried-and-true 3.8-liter V-6 and the new 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 mill that debuted on the big-boy G90 sedan. Power figures have yet to be announced, but expect 311 hp from the 3.8-liter, and 365 hp from the 3.3-liter. No word on the status of Hyundai’s butter-smooth 5.0-liter V-8 engine, but that powerplant would slot above the new 3.3-liter, pushing out 420 hp. The biggest changes for the new G80 Sport are minor visual tweaks, including more aggressive bumpers, new mesh grille, and beefier exhaust tips.
No word on the G80 Sport’s U.S. availability, but seeing as the changes are mostly minor, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the car debut later this year on our shores.
Check out the debut of the G80 Sport in the video below, and take a look at the mental mid-engined RM16 concept in the photo gallery.