The Hyundai Veloster that made its world debut last month at Detroit has earned its racing stripes, and is now part of Hyundai Motor America’s motorsports program. Famous racer Rhys Millen fabricated and will race the first 500-horsepower AWD Hyundai Veloster in the 2011 U.S. Rallycross Championship.

Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) and Hyundai are also making a second rally Veloster that will be shared between rally champion Marcus Dodd and world record freestyle motorbike rider Robbie Maddison. Millen and Maddison will drive the Hyundai Veloster rally cars at Summer X Games. A third Veloster will be constructed to compete in the 2WD class of the U.S. Rallycross Championship, to be piloted by celebrity drivers.

“The all-new 2012 Veloster is a playful, fun to drive car and thanks to Rhys and his team we’re excited to introduce it to racing fans ahead of its launch this summer. I teamed up with Rhys’ father, Rod, nearly twenty years ago for Hyundai’s original Pikes Peak rally program, so it is great to be back in the sport again with his son inspiring a new generation,” said Mike O’Brien, VP of Product and Corporate Planning at Hyundai Motor America.

The production Veloster was stripped bare and the chassis spent five days in an alkali bath to remove all rubber and adhesives. The chassis was also stitch welded for added structural rigidity. RMR then replicated the body panels out of carbon/Kevlar. The hood, doors, quarter panels, front fascia and rear fascia are all built out of carbon/Kevlar, which is 75% lighter than standard sheet metal. A custom RMR rear wing adds downforce and hood vents help dissipate heat.

The engine is a four-cylinder turbocharged unit with 500 hp, mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox by Xtrac, which also supplies the AWD transfer case and front/rear differentials. Rallycross involves lots of jumping, so a Proflex jumbo coil over suspension is fitted along with 14-inch brake rotors and six-piston calipers from Alcon. 18-inch HRE wheels and 245/40 Hankook Racing tyres complete the package.

Gallery with action shots is after the jump. Click here to view the post, gallery and a video of the road going Veloster.

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