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by Tim Beissmann

Hyundai Australia has signalled its intent to join the local rally scene, revealing the tarmac-tuned Hyundai Veloster Race Concept at the 2012 Sydney motor show.

Developed in Australia by the specialist team responsible for the local ride and handling tuning of Hyundai’s production cars, the Veloster Race Concept has been engineered to meet all FIA and CAMS tarmac rally competition requirements.

Hyundai Australia took a Veloster Turbo base car, stripped it down to its body shell and rebuilt it to withstand the rigours of rally racing and to satisfy CAMS Australian Tarmac Regulations for the ‘Modern’ category.

The team behind the Hyundai Veloster Race Concept says the versatile car requires only minor modifications to be eligible to compete in the Australian Production GT, Australian Rally Championship or Asia Pacific Rally competitions.

The Veloster Race Concept teams a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a six-speed manual transmission, and features a stainless steel hi-flow exhaust system.

Recaro carbon seats and multi-point three-inch seatbelts lock the driver and co-driver in behind a Sparco race steering wheel and an anti-glare dashboard, all of which is contained within a CAMS-/FIA-compliant roll cage.

Four-pot 355mm brakes are fitted to at the front while the rear scores two-pot 300mm rotors. Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tyres wrap around 18-inch Team Dynamics race wheels at the corners.

Other features unique to the rally concept include Project Mu competition brake pads, Kevlar high-pressure fuel lines, DMS four-way adjustable suspension, Super Pro bushes, and a lightweight carbonfibre interior.

Hyundai Australia marketing director Oliver Mann says the Veloster Race Concept is a demonstration of the brand’s local in-house engineering and technical know-how at its best.

Hyundai says the Veloster Race Concept is being studied for competition, with the manufacturer to make a formal announcement of its rally plans in 2013.