The RM16 N – the “RM’ stands for “racing midship” while the “N” alludes to Hyundai’s plan to launch a new performance sub-brand – is a rear-drive hot hatch that’s unlikely for production, but offers valuable clues as to where the Veloster’s styling is headed.
The lightweight, two-seat concept uses a 220kW 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine mounted behind the driver, and a six-speed manual transmission. The RM16 N uses weight-saving innovations from the RM15 concept revealed last year – which itself was spun out from the Korean carmaker’s surprise mid-engined RM concept from 2014 – with an aluminium frame clad in carbonfibre-reinforced plastic panels.
The RM16 N features an Audi-like electric supercharger to boost power, an electronic limited slip differential to send it all down to the road and an automatic rear spoiler to optimise high-speed aerodynamics.
But the most noticeable change coming to the Veloster and flagged by the RM16 N is its front end. New wavy LED headlights add to the long and low bonnet, combined with more aggressive bumper styling.
Hyundai Australia says the RM16 N is a “rolling development”, its term for a concept vehicle the Korean carmaker plans to use as a test bed new technologies as it grows increasingly curious about the development of high-performance technologies.