Hyundai RM19 is yet another mid-engine prototype with payoff potential

Zac Palmer

Add another mid-engine Hyundai prototype to the tally. The Hyundai RM19 Racing Midship Prototype is seeing its debut at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show. This one ups the performance to an even higher level than the RM14, RM15 and RM16. Interestingly, it’s also been a few years since we saw the last iteration of this development car.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sitting behind the seats makes a rocking 390 horsepower. It’s also used in TCR racecars, but isn’t held back by BoP (Balance of Performance) regulations in this particular application. Hyundai says the engine rockets the car to 60 mph in under four seconds. However, this car’s performance specs aren’t the story here. It’s what Hyundai ultimately decides to develop out of this car that matters.

“The RM19 sports car signals future brand aspirations for Hyundai’s high-performance N brand, solidly moving N into the prestigious arena of supercar-level performance,” says Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of Hyundai. “Hyundai N will not only increase heartbeats per minute via powerful internal combustion engines, but also through the instantaneous torque and environmental sustainability of electrified powertrains moving forward,” he continues.

Of course, the RM series of sports cars have been signaling greater intentions for a long while now. Today, we have the raucous Veloster N, and other markets have the handsome i30N hatchback and i30 Fastback N. Hyundai clearly has plans for more sporty cars, but the shape those will take on isn’t yet set in stone. Electrification is part of the plan, as Hyundai and Kia previously inked a deal with Rimac. We’re certainly hoping this RM19 morphs into something even more attractive and enticing, whether it be electric or engine-powered. Albert Biermann himself continues to speak proudly of the company’s performance car development using this platform, as Hyundai says it’s possible that we’ll see a “brand-halo car” come of it.

The N brand is certainly off to a great start with the Veloster N. Let’s hope the next move is just as exciting for driving enthusiasts.