>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009
At its press conference at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai boldly proclaimed that it is charging headlong—well, moresideways, actually—into the U.S. motorsports fray with the help of rally racer/drifting superstar Rhys Millen. According to Hyundai, Millen—the son of off-road racing legend Rod Millen—and his racing firm Rhys Millen Racing (RMR), are already hard at work transforming one of Hyundai’s new rear-drive Genesis coupes into the “RMR Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe.” The resulting vehicle will feature a 550-hp engine, a stripped, strengthened body, and pretty much nothing else.
A Shell of its Former Self—Literally
Turning a relatively benign Genesis coupe into a tire-melting, single-minded asphalt-o-philiac with a target weight of 2400 pounds will involve removing all interior components not required to anchor the driver in place, stripping the chassis of all insulation, rubber, and adhesives, and then stitch-welding the structure for rigidity. The car’s sheetmetal is exchanged for widened carbon-fiber panels built from the same molds used for the Millen-designed Hyundai Genesis “Art of Speed” SEMA star, featuring splitters, air dams, and ducts pretty much everywhere that air can be split, dammed, or ducted. The drifter is capped off with a Cessna-sized APR GTC-500 rear wing, and of course, a suitably unsubtle blue, silver, and bare carbon-fiber color scheme designed to flatter Red Bull and other corporate partners. RMR then plans to install lightweight 18- by 8.5-inch front and 18- by 9.5-inch rear Enkei RPF1 wheels that are certain to see more than their share of 225/40-18 front and 265/40 rear Toyo Proxes R1R tires.
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