The M stands for “Midship,” which is where you'll find the competition-spec engine on this latest developmental prototype.
Hyundai has, by all accounts, made a world-beating hot hatch with the Veloster N. But this is another beast entirely.
Called the RM19, it's the latest in a string of prototypes going back to 2012. Those numbers denote the year in which this iteration was developed, following the RM14, RM15, and RM16 that came before. But it's the letters that precede them that tell you what's really going on here: the R is for "racing," and the M is for "Midship." Because this machine packs its engine behind the cockpit, where you'd sooner expect to find it on a supercar than a hot hatch.
Created as a test-bed for Hyundai N performance components, the RM19 packs between the axles the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the touring-car racing version, but without the restrictions imposed by the sanctioning body. So this version channels upwards of 390 horsepower through a six-speed sequential gearbox, yet it's still engineered to be street-legal. Hyundai says it'll rocket to 60 mph in under four seconds and top out at over 155 mph before the electronic limiter kicks in.
It rides on a MacPherson front and double-wishbone rear suspension with gas-pressure dampers, with six-piston front and four-pot rear brakes packed inside 20-inch alloys. And as you can see, it has an aero kit befitting its racing demeanor.
Impressive as those specs may be, they're just the start. Hyundai envisions adding electric powertrain components, leveraging its new partnership with Rimac. "RM19 serves as a development platform for future N brand products," notes the manufacturer, tantalizingly "including a potential brand-halo car." And we like the sound of that.
"The RM platform is a versatile engineering testbed, allowing effective evaluation of various powertrains and performance levels, all on normal roads and environments," said Hyundai's R&D chief Albert Biermann. "Throughout the evolution of the RM series, our engineers have gained tremendous hands-on knowledge of high performance vehicle dynamics with various front-to-rear weight distributions coupled with the effects of a fully-weighted, high-strength body structure on vehicle performance."