Hyundai revealed a lightweight, mid-engined and rear-drive two-seater at the Seoul motor show today — a statement about its serious performance intent.

Called the Hyundai RM15 (Racing Midship 2015) concept, the Veloster-on-steroids is a followup to last year’s ‘Veloster RM’, a conceptually similar project that served largely as a promotional tool.

This year’s iteration is said to be a demonstration of Hyundai’s “commitment to advanced vehicle technologies and materials”, given it uses an aluminium spaceframe as its core and has panels made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastics.

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As such, the car’s weight is cut by 195kg to 1260kg.

It’s also presumably an exercise for Hyundai’s engineers to hone their skills in making performance road cars. It might just explain why spy images of a mid-engined Veloster mule were caught testing by Korean media last week.

These panels are painted in Hyundai’s signature red, black and blue colours, which are also featured on its WRC i20 rally car.

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The revised engine is the same as that used in last year’s RM — a 2.0-litre T-GDI unit that generates an impressive 220kW at 6000rpm and 383Nm at 2000rpm, sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The 0-100km/h time is 4.7 seconds.

The engine is mounted transversely, and behind the two-seater cabin but ahead of the rear axle — hence those big cooling flanks running down the side.

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The shift amidships improves weight distribution to a 43/57 per cent front/rear balance. The car also sports a low centre of gravity (491mm from the ground), while aero downforce is 24kg at 200km/h.

Other nifty features include the integrated sub-frame front and rear, WRC-style roll cage that adds stiffness to the overall structure, and double-wishbone suspension made form aluminium. The RM15 rides on 19-inch forged alloy wheels on 235/35 front/ 265/35 rear tyres.

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“The RM15 is another bold statement of the progressive spirit of Hyundai Motor, illustrating what we can achieve when we channel our passion and enthusiasm into a product that is not limited by convention,” said Hyundai’s senior vice president and head of the High Performance Vehicle Development Centre at Hyundai Motor Group, Joonhong Park.

Hyundai RM15 Concept - Specifications

  • Body style: Two-door, two-seater, mid-engined
  • Length: 4220mm
  • Width: 1865mm
  • Height: 1340mm
  • Wheelbase: 2650mm
  • Engine: Theta 2.0 T-GDI turbocharged gasoline direct injection
  • Power: 220kW at 6000rpm
  • Torque: 383Nm at 2000 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Performance: 0-100km/h in 4.7sec
  • Weight: 1260kg