The Veloster debuted in 2012 with a 138-horsepower engine that just didn’t quite match up with its sporty looks. In the following year, Hyundai made up for this with the 2013 Turbo model that made use of a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that delivered 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Even with the new Turbo model, the hatchback still left a lot to be desired, but a new mid-engine concept, dubbed the 2015 Veloster RM15, shows the full potential of the sporty Korean hatchback.

The name, Racing Midship, implies that Hyundai developed this concept as a racecar, but there is no other mention of this being a track-only car. Therefore, I believe that this concept will act as a gauge to see just how interested buyers would be in a mid-engine performance Veloster. I, for one, am intrigued by the concept, but I am not too sure how much of it would actually make it to the production line even if there is enough interest.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Hyundai Veloster RM15.

  • 2015 Hyundai Veloster RM15
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    295 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    282 @ 2000
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Hyundai Veloster RM15
- image 625121

There is no mistaking this concept as anything but a certified badass. In itself, the standard Veloster is sexy enough, but add in that signature N paint job, the air vents just forward of the rear wheels, and that massive spoiler, and this thing makes me want to lob 100 dollar bills at my local Hyundai sales person until he agrees to sell me one.

To make things even more intriguing, this concept is also 430 pounds lighter than the standard Veloster, putting it at a svelte 2,778 pounds. This is thanks to its aluminum spaceframe and Hybrid Lightweight Body Structure, which comprises carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic body panels in place of traditional steel panels.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,220 MM (166.14 Inches)
Width 1,865 MM (73.42 Inches)
Height 1,340 MM (52.75 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,650 MM (104.33 Inches)

Interior

Hyundai doesn’t make any mention of what’s going on inside the cabin, save for the reference to a WRC-inspired roll cage. What I suspect is a fairly spartan cabin that only has the bare necessities, like racing seats, five-point harnesses, a racing steering wheel, bespoke instruments, and plenty of Alcantara.

Drivetrain

While the body is stunning, the drivetrain is what makes this concept really unique. Powering the Veloster RM15 is a 2.0-liter T-GDI engine behind the front seats. This engine gives the Veloster the power it should have had when Hyundai first released it, as it puts down 300 PS at 6,000 rpm and 383 Nm at 2,000 rpm. In `Murican measurements, that converts out to 296 horsepower and 282 pound-feet.

The power routes through a six-speed manual transmission on its way to the rear wheels. This combination would be good for a 4.7-second sprint to 62 mph.

The RM15 is about more than just speed too, as Hyundai worked hard to get its balance right. To help even out weight distribution, Hyundai mounted the engine just fore of the rear axle, putting 57 percent of this this midship-engine concept’s weight on the rear axle.

With a decently balanced weight ratio, Hyundai then went to work on the chassis. The Korean automaker installed an aluminum double-wishbone suspension system for more precise handling. At the corners are 19-inch forged monoblock alloy wheels wrapped in 235/35R19 tires up front and 265/35R19 tires out back. Added to this mix is the 53 pounds of downforce at 124 mph created by the new spoiler.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Theta 2.0 T-GDI turbocharged gasoline direct injection
Power 296 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 282 LB-FT @ 2,000 RPM
Transmission Six-speed manual
Performance 0-100 km/h 4.7 sec

Prices

2015 Hyundai Veloster RM15
- image 625120

Since this is just a concept and its name implies that it’s a race car, there are no pricing details. That said, I wouldn’t be overly shocked to see this inspire a production model, as there have been recent sightings of a mid-engine Veloster out testing.

Additionally, The hot-hatchback market is hotter than it has been in many years, so it would be wise for Hyundai to dive in while there’s money on the table. If Hyundai were to build this beast, I would expect to see a price tag around $30k – a $7,400 increase over the top-of-the-line Veloster Turbo

Competition

Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 615053

If the RM15 does inspire a production model, it would meet fierce competition from another new hot-hatch, the Focus RS. This beast rolls in boasting a 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that produces “well in excess of 320 PS,” which converts to 316 horsepower. On top of that, this hatchback has all-wheel drive that allows up to 70 percent of the power to travel to the rear wheels.

This translates out to an estimated 60-mph sprint time of around 4.5 seconds, which should be about in line with the RM15 concept. The pricing for the Focus RS is not available, but I believe it will come in at around $40,000.

Read our full review of the Ford Focus RS here

Volkswagen Golf R

2016 Volkswagen Golf R High Resolution Exterior
- image 537639

The Golf R is another example of the insane competition that a production version RM15 would meet in America. Under its hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts down 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The VW comes with your choice of a six-cog manual or a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. This setup mates to a standard all-wheel-drive system and delivers a 4.9-second 0-to-60 sprint.

In terms of looks, the VW Golf R is the most subdued of the hot-hatchbacks, making it more desirable to those who prefer a sleeper. Its starting price of $36,595 splits the difference between the Focus RS and the price I estimated for the Veloster RM15.

Read our full review of the Volkswagen Golf R here

Honda Civic Type R

2016 Honda Civic Type R Exterior
- image 620417

The upcoming Civic Type R is nothing short of incredible, save for the fact that its powertrain is the exact opposite of the Veloster RM15. The front-drive, front-engine setup if obviously cheaper to build, but it creates the issue of torque steer, thanks to the Type R’s 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine that delivers 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Honda will install a Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension to help reduce this fight for control of the wheel, but as the proud owner of a Focus ST, I can attest to the fact that there is no way to eliminate 100 percent of torque steer.

The powertrain is just as powerful as the other hot-hatchbacks on the market, but the Civic Type R is drastically slower than the pack at 5.7 seconds to 60 mph. It does, however, top out at a class-leading 167 mph.

Pricing is not available yet, but most signs point toward a price in the $32k range.

Read our full review of the Honda Civic Type R here

Conclusion

This concept looks awesome, and it takes the Veloster in the direction that we all were hoping it would go. As it sits now, the Veloster lineup is pretty cool, but its sporty looks are begging for a true performance model that can rival the best of the hot-hatch segment. A production version of the RM15 concept would check all of the performance boxes and likely undercut the others in terms of pricing.

  • Leave it
    • * Will fight an uphill battle to hit production
    • * Likely very expensive, for a Hyundai
    • * Needs a dual-clutch transmission as an option

Press Release

Hyundai Motor Company has revealed its latest mid-engined model, an aggressively-styled high-performance coupe concept named ‘RM15’ (Racing Midship 2015). The lightweight two-seat concept, unveiled today at the 11th Seoul Motor Show, makes a confident statement about Hyundai Motor’s passion for performance and its expertise in the development of advanced vehicle technologies.

2015 Hyundai Veloster RM15
- image 625120

The RM15 features an aluminum spaceframe as its core structure, with a covering of light, stiff body panels formed in carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which together help to achieve a significant weight saving compared to a conventional all-steel vehicle. The body panels are painted in the signature colors of the company’s ‘N’ (pale blue, black, red and Hyundai mid-blue) which also feature on the Hyundai WRC i20 rally car.

Based on the Veloster RM shown at last year’s Busan Motor Show in Korea, the new RM15 features a host of modifications that boost the latest model’s performance, handling and efficiency. Total weight is reduced (to 1,260 kg – a saving of 195kg compared to an all-steel structure), weight distribution is more evenly balanced (43% front, 57% rear), the center of gravity is just 491 mm from the ground and aerodynamic downforce is 24 kg at 200 kph, aided by a competitive lift-coefficient.

Power comes from Hyundai Motor’s Theta 2.0-liter T-GDI engine mounted transversely behind the two-seater cabin and ahead of the rear axle, ensuring optimized weight distribution and a low moment of inertia for excellent handling agility and high levels of traction. New, vertical air-intake slots in the flanks of the car, ahead of the rear wheel arches, increase cooling airflow within the engine bay and enhance powertrain efficiency.

The four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine generates 300 ps at 6,000 rpm and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Strong torque delivery (39 kgm [383 Nm] at 2,000 rpm) helps to reduce the 0-100 km acceleration time to just 4.7 seconds.

Integrated sub-frame (front & rear) and a WRC-inspired roll-cage add extra stiffness to the structure, providing a firm foundation for the aluminum double-wishbone suspension, enabling it to give precise responses and consistent handling characteristics. RM15 rides on stylish 19-inch diameter mono block forged alloy wheels fitted with 235/35 R19 tires (front) and 265/35 R19 tires (rear).

The body panels, named ‘Hybrid Lightweight Body Structure (HLBS)’ provide further demonstration of Hyundai Motor’s expertise with carbon-fiber reinforced plastic structures. With an aluminum core structure and CFRP body panels, the RM15 is light yet extremely strong, with torsional stiffness of 37,800nm/deg.

“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,” comments Joonhong Park, Senior Vice President and head of High Performance Vehicle Development Center at Hyundai Motor Group. “I’m very proud to unveil the RM15 at our home motor show, where visitors have become used to seeing Hyundai Motor confidently give expression to its creative and engineering talents and energies. We intend to demonstrate our progress with high-performance technologies with other exciting prototype projects in the near future”.

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