A “rolling lab” for testing
the high-performance technologies
Project RM: Meeting the challenge of systematic development of a high-performance technology
Before the official announcement of the high-performance N sub-brand in September 2015, Hyundai Motor embarked on a project in 2012 with the project code RM (Racing Midship). The RM project was started with the goal of going beyond the limits of the high-performance technologies that will be applied to the future N model. At the advanced research stage, the various technologies were tested in actual test vehicles while driving in order to validate the technology and performance and improve them for later application in the N production model. In addition, the MR (a midship engine and a rear-drive system) driving mode was applied to enable advance research into vehicle movement with different weight distribution between the front and rear and to understand the effect of a weighed-down, high-strength body frame on the vehicle’s performance, etc. which is essential for a high-performance car.
The result of this project, the RM series are not models for a one-off display of exterior design but instead are concept cars that demonstrate the evolution of the high-performance technologies in the N model. They are displayed at various motor shows every year to communicate the N model R&D developments to customers.
The Evolution of the RM Series
The RM 14, which was unveiled at the Busan Motor Show in 2014, was the first car to result from this project. As a high-performance sports car, it had a midship engine structure (engine mounted in the middle of the car instead of the front) to focus on the dynamic performance of the 2.0 Theta T-GDI engine with 300horsepower. The sub-frame of RM 14 was a single structure to support the high-strength body frame, which is an essential part of a high-performance car. With these features, the RM 14 successfully demonstrated the outcome of the first-stage development of a high-performance car.
The RM 15 that was displayed at the Seoul Motor Show in 2015 came with an aluminum frame and outer panels made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) to both reduce the body weight and further increase the panel strength. The focus of the development was to ensure stability at high speeds and drastically increase the cooling capacity during extreme driving by creating downforce and heat flow control which are key technologies for the aerodynamics of a high-performance car. As such, based on the high-performance technologies developed through RM 14 and RM 15, the Racing Midship 2016 or RM 16, another evolution of the RM series, debuted at the 2016 Busan Motor Show.
The Design of RM16 –the embodiment of “low &wide”
As the main objective of the RM project is to develop the core technologies of a high-performance car with enhanced performance, the RM series actually used the design of existing models that would enable performance tests on roads without having to camouflage the car. Like the slogan “form follows function (FFF)” for the design of high-performance cars, the exterior design was changed continuously to incorporate the high-performance technologies. As a result, the design of RM16 includes a bold change to the look of the front with optimal aerodynamic styling to adopt the “low & wide” image of a high-performance midship model.
The front has a low, extended hood, slim headlamps and wide air intakes that give the car a more aggressive look, and in the rear part of the car, a spoiler with optimized aerodynamics and extended air intakes clearly marks the characteristics of a high-performance midship model.
The RM 16 new technology, a relentless test to go beyond the limits of N
The RM 16 features various new technologies that are presently being validated to improve the driving performance of the car, and moreover, to enable the driver to feel at one with the car, an emotion that is to be embodied in the N model. One of these technologies is the electronic supercharger that increases the drive performance of the high-output engine. With this feature, the performance of the RM 16 improved by 14% from 60 to 100 km/h and by 17% from 80 to 120 km/h, when compared to RM15. In addition, the electronic limited slip differential (e-LSD) distributes optimal power to each wheel when turning. Active rear spoiler technology is also being developed in the RM 16 which involves the automatic control of the rear spoiler depending on the driving conditions such as driving in straight lines, taking corners or operating the brakes, all with a view to optimize the aerodynamics.
The emotional factor, in which the driver becomes totally immersed while racing, is also an area that needs to be studied further. The electronically-variable exhaust system, which offers an intense exhaust sound that matches the feeling of acceleration, and the sport seat with variable bolsters to ensure the sit feats the driver’s build perfectly are two representative technologies that are being tested in RM 16.
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