Hyundai Motor’s Project RM (Racing Midship) began in 2012 with a mission to test high-performance technologies and refine them for use in future high-performance cars. The main purpose of the project is to develop core high-performance technologies while focusing on performance, ultimately resulting in form following function.

The RM concept car has evolved as a ‘rolling lab’ concept since 2014, playing a key role in research and development of the high-performance future ‘N’ models from the company.

The first concept car displayed was the RM14, which was revealed at the 2014 Busan International Motor Show for the first time. This was followed by the RM15 which showed more advanced technologies.

This month, Hyundai Motors has revealed the RM16 which represents the company’s further development of high-performance technologies in the form of a mid-engine, lightweight, high-performance two-seat concept.

“RM models will continue to play an important role as the ‘rolling lab’ in the development of our future high-performance ‘N’ cars,” said Albert Biermann, Head of Hyundai Motor’s Vehicle Test & High-Performance Development. “Like previous RM models, the design of the RM16 is determined by its focus on performance: form follows function with styling optimized for aerodynamics. The aggressive front with low-extended bonnet, slim headlamps and wide air intakes sets the tone of its low and wide image, created to accommodate high-performance technologies.”

The latest concept inherits characteristics from the earlier RM14 and RM15 models – in particular the RM14’s 6-speed manual transmission and midship-mounted 2.0 theta T-GDI engine – tuned to develop 300 ps. Additionally, the RM16 boasts the same sports-focused weight distribution (43% front, 57% rear) as its predecessors, benefitting from a centre of gravity less than 500 mm from the ground.

Weight-saving innovations, first seen on RM15, help boost the new concept’s handling and acceleration. A specially-designed aluminium space frame is covered by light, rigid carbonfibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body panels, which save considerable weight versus a traditionally-constructed steel-based car.

Over these three RM models, there has been an evolution in aerodynamics that, in turn, aids stability and thermal flow, maximizing the potential offered by improved powertrain performance.

New technologies have been adopted such as an electric supercharger to enhance engine power and responsiveness; electronic limited slip differential (E-LSD) that distributes optimal power to each wheel when turning; and an automatically-controlled rear spoiler to optimize aerodynamics according to different driving conditions.

The driving experience is enhanced by the electronically-variable exhaust system which provides a powerful tone to match the sense of acceleration, while the adjustable bolster sports seats can adapt to the driving mode and speed of cornering, holding the driver’s body more firmly in place when necessary.

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[Chips Yap]

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