While all eyes are on New York this week, over in Korea the biennial Seoul Auto Show is taking place where this year Hyundai unveiled a handful of concepts including this mid-engined Veloster race car. The concept is called the “RM15”, short for “Racing Midship 2015”, and it’s said to demonstrate the Korean automaker’s passion for performance and know-how when it comes to advanced vehicle materials and technologies.

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The RM15 features an aluminum spaceframe as its core structure, with a covering of light, stiff body panels made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, which together help to achieve a significant weight saving compared to a conventional all-steel vehicle. The concept weighs just under 2,800 pounds, which is about 430 lbs lighter than it would be if built using all-steel construction. The weight balance and center of gravity has also been improved.

Subframes integrated with the body as well as a WRC-inspired roll-cage add extra stiffness to the structure, providing a firm foundation for the aluminum double-wishbone suspension. The wheels are 19-inch diameter forged alloy units fitted with 235/35 tires at the front and 265/35 at the rear.

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Power comes from Hyundai’s turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four, which is mounted transversely behind the two-seater cabin and ahead of the rear axle, ensuring optimized weight distribution. Vertical air-intake slots in the flanks of the car, ahead of the rear wheel arches, increase cooling airflow within the engine bay and enhance powertrain efficiency.

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Peak output registers at 295 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque, and drive is to the rear wheels only via a six-speed manual transmission. The setup enables 0-62 mph acceleration in about 4.7 seconds.

Finally, the concept wears a livery similar to that on Hyundai’s i20 WRC rally car, with the colors representing the automaker’s ‘N’ performance brand.

This is actually the second Veloster-based mid-engine concept from Hyundai, so perhaps there’s greater significance here than Hyundai is letting on. The previous concept, the Veloster Midship, was shown at last year’s Busan Auto Show.


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