Hyundai has unveiled the latest instalment in what has become an annual tradition, revealing its new Veloster-based RM16 N racing concept today.
As with its RM14 and RM15 predecessors - named for the years of their debut - the RM16 is a Veloster reimagined, switching out its front-engined front-wheel-drive design for a midship rear-wheel-drive configuration.
It's that layout, with the engine mounted behind the now two-seat cabin, that gives the concept its 'Racing Midship' RM name. (The regular Veloster's rear seats aren't much use, anyway.)
Mechanically, the RM16 makes no dramatic changes to its predecessors' setup, with all three driven by a 2.0-litre T-GDI four-cylinder petrol engine that offers 220kW and 383Nm of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is again featured.
There's also an electric supercharger, an electronic limited-slip differential, an electronically-variable exhaust system and an automatic rear spoiler.
Apart from its redistributed and enhanced internals, the RM models also benefit from the requisite cooling, aerodynamic and widening tweaks needed for a tour of high-performance track duty.
Now, for 2016, Hyundai has blessed the RM with its most unique look yet. Only one image has been released, but it reveals plenty. The rear boasts relatively minor tweaks and the profile is largely unchanged, but the front end tells a whole other story.
New headlights are the standout change, and although not confirmed, it appears they may be a modified version of the big Genesis G90 sedan's eyes with a wavy new ribbon-like LED design inside.
A new front bumper is the other standout change, with the RM now wearing a low-set mouth that suggests an aquatic predator may have been the design team's inspiration. A redesigned bumper is also featured, reshaped to match the face.
Whether this modification is a hint of the next-generation Veloster remains to be seen, although Hyundai Australia communications manager Bill Thomas has confirmed with CarAdvice that we shouldn't expect to see this look debut as any sort of last-minute facelift.
The current model first appeared on the market in 2011, after having first debuted as the HND-3 concept in 2007. Rather than a facelift, we can likely expect an all-new model to appear sometime in 2017.
And, with Hyundai's sports-focussed N division now in full swing, we can likely also expect higher levels of performance across the range.
Watch for more on the next Veloster, and the upcoming N range, to surface in the coming months.
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