Hyundai is in the midst of an interesting transformation, and the unveiling of its new RM19 Racing Midship Sports Car points towards an interesting future product line-up. As Hyundai’s vice president of product division puts it: “The RM19 sports car signals future brand aspirations for Hyundai’s high-performance N brand, solidly moving N into the prestigious arena of supercar-level performance.”

Well then, let’s have the numbers do the talking, shall we? Powering this car is Hyundai N’s direct-injection 2.0 litre Touring Car Racing (TCR) engine that’s turbocharged to make 390 hp, rocketing the three-door hatch from zero to 96 km/h (0-60 mph) in under four seconds. Hyundai says the engine is the most powerful 2.0 litre TCR engine of its kind, and the company is currently working with Rimac to electrify the engine.

The mid-engined (hence midship) car gets a TCR six-speed sequential gearbox, with drive routed exclusively to the rear wheels. Top speed is electronically capped at 250 km/h for public road driving, and Hyundai’s motor-driven power steering is available as well, lending further credence to its road-legal aspirations.

For suspension, it gets MacPherson struts up front and independent double wishbones at the back (both come with adjustable hard points and geometry), and the dampers are conventional gas-pressure units – no fancy adaptive systems here.

Other standout items include 20-inch one-piece lightweight forged aluminium wheels shod with mixed profile tyres (245/30 up front, 305/30 rear), motorsport ABS M5 system by Bosch (not for use on public roads), as well as six-piston calipers for the front and four-pot clampers at the back.

Design-wise, the RM19 wears the Veloster‘s skin, but loses out on the hatch’s quirky third door. The wheel fenders are flared to accommodate the wider wheels, and it gets rear air ducts that channel cool air into the engine. A large GT wing is affixed to the tail to provide downforce, while the massive carbon-fibre rear diffuser guides accelerated airflow out.

Inside, it gets the Veloster N TCR’s steering wheel which comes with shift paddles, and the parking brake is mechanical. In terms of dimensions, the RM19 measures 4,319 mm long, 1,945 mm wide, 1,354 mm tall, has a wheelbase of 2,672 mm, and 100 mm ground clearance. That’s nearly 80 mm longer and 145 mm wider than the regular Veloster, and height is down by a staggering 46 mm.

Hyundai N chief Albert Biermann (formerly BMW M boss) said: “The RM platform is a versatile engineering testbed, allowing effective evaluation of various powertrains and performance levels, all on normal roads and environments. Throughout the evolution of the RM series, our engineers have gained tremendous hands-on knowledge of high performance vehicle dynamics with various front-to-rear weight distributions coupled with the effects of a fully-weighted, high-strength body structure on vehicle performance.”

According to the company, most of Hyundai’s N high-performance cars and technologies are developed at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The accelerated tests of between 420 to 480 laps (both wet and dry conditions) simulate over 160,000 km of severe driving in the span of four weeks, and the Nürburgring is also where Hyundai has its own 3,600 square meter testing facility.