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Hyundai previews RM16 concept at Busan

Performance progression: The Hyundai RM16 follows in the footsteps of its concept siblings, the RM14 and RM15.

Busan motor show hosts unveiling of Hyundai RM16 performance concept

3 Jun 2016

HYUNDAI has used the Busan motor show in South Korea to show off its latest performance concept, the RM16, that shows off some of the car-makers future high-performance technologies.

The RM concept – which stands for Racing Mid-ship – first appeared as the RM14 at the 2014 Busan show, followed by the RM15 at the 2015 Seoul motor show.

The RM16 carries over some elements of the 15 and 14, including its six-speed manual gearbox and mid-engined 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder unit, capable of developing a formidable 220kW of power.

It is constructed with an aluminium frame and uses carbon-fibre reinforced plastic to help reduce total weight over a traditional steel-based car.

Other performance features include a limited slip differential, electric supercharger, adjustable bolster sports seats and and an electronically variable exhaust system.

Weight distribution is 43 per cent front, 57 per cent rear, and the car has been engineered to favour function over form with aerodynamics, including an automatically controlled rear spoiler, made a priority.

Hyundai Motor Company head of vehicle test and high performance development Albert Biermann said the RM models were crucial to the company developing and testing new performance technology.

“RM models will continue to play an important role as the ‘rolling lab’ in the development of our future high-performance ‘N’ cars,” he said.

Design-wise, the RM16 differs from its RM predecessors, which were based on the Veloster coupe, as it features a unique front-end design treatment not yet seen on a Hyundai concept or production car.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia public relations general manager Bill Thomas said that the design was purely experimental, and does not foreshadow any forthcoming model.

“It's purely a concept,” he said. “They've refreshed the look of it and they're playing with different ideas, but as far as we know it doesn't give you any hints as to future product.”

There is a chance that the Theta T-GDI engine in the RM16 could potentially be used to power the forthcoming i30 N hot hatch, which is likely to be Hyundai's debut 'N' model in next-generation i30 guise.

Hyundai officially launched the 'N' performance sub-brand in September last year, and a prototype of the i30 N was entered into the Nurburgring 24 hour race that took place last weekend.

A 220kW powerplant would put the i30 N directly in the sights of other hi-po hot hatches, including the 206kW Volkswagen Golf R, 200kW Peugeot 308 GTi 270 and 202kW Renault Megane RS275 Trophy but is not enough to pip the 228kW Honda Civic Type R that is set to come to Australia in new-gen guise next year.

There is no confirmation yet as to whether the i30 N will be offered in Australia, however Mr Thomas said that HMCA would be keen to have an N model as a part of its line-up.

“We'd join the chorus of keen markets to put the car on sale,” he said.

“It's definitely a car that would do our brand a lot of good. It would be a fantastic machine to sit at the top of the tree.”

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