• May 5, 2009
Hyundai engine in Rhys Millen's drift car – Click above for high-res gallery

A minor controversy broke out a few weeks back when it became known that Rhys Millen's new Hyundai Genesis Coupe Formula Drift car debuted at the Long Beach season opener with Nissan power under the hood. Normally this wouldn't be much of an issue in drifting where almost anything goes mechanically. The problem here is that Millen's team is not independent and supported directly by Hyundai. As we learned, late approval of the drift program meant that Millen's crew simply didn't have the time to finish preparing a new engine from Hyundai.

Rhys dropped us a line yesterday evening to let us know that some of the parts he was waiting on for the Lambda V6 engine have arrived including a new clutch and flywheel. To start with, the engine is running with mostly stock internals and its original 3.8-liter displacement. Over the weekend, the team ran the engine on the dyno and squeezed out 480 hp at 4,500 rpm and 570 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm. They achieved those numbers with just 9 psi of boost from the turbo. The engine is now in the car and Millen will be competing with Hyundai power at Round 2 of the formula D championship at Road Atlanta this weekend.



[Source: Rhys Millen]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      570lb-ft. Nice torque. Better than I expected.

      I guess they scrapped the 4.1L idea.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ Farris

      Ditto. Everyone who has an interest in luxury cars should take a look at the Genesis sedan. I predict that Hyundai will take a stap at premium CUVs and we'll see an X5 & MDX competitor from them before too long.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks. It just bothers me when people are so closed minded about new things in the car world... especially when a manufacturer tries to change it's niche.

        My exgirlfriend drives a 98 Accent. I know EXACTLY why people complain about Hyundai. However, I have both a New Beetle and an Old Beetle... I know for a fact that a car company can GREATLY improve its products.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm impressed at how Hyundai handled it, PR-wise. It could've been a disaster for them if they threw a hissy-fit. Instead the news of using the VQ engine pretty much came and went.
      • 5 Years Ago
      from the pictures, it looks like the hold up was waiting on a new bellhousing to mate up with the transmission.... wonder what they're running?
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ Hamhock

      Hyundai has already started to break into that CUV segment... look at the Vera Cruz and the Kia Borrega (SP?)

      @ Jeff

      the other article Autoblog did on this subject when they ended up having to run the Nissan VQ cited the problem being that Hyundai occupied Ryhs for too long with helping to promote the car and not giving him enough time to work on it.

      also, tuning the ECU or converting to a standalone/piggyback can be time consuming too.

      as for the power this car puts out, im impressed. keep in mind thats on only 9 psi and im sure the power curve is pretty damn flat!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still a Hyundai....
        Stop
        • 5 Years Ago
        Carlos said:

        "You're retarded"

        +10!
        • 5 Years Ago
        That really doesn't hold any weight these days. Most people are intelligent enough to realize that a brand name doesn't make an automobile good or bad. It takes all kinds, though.

        I guess people will feel better after being beaten on the street or track by a Genesis Coupe if they can say, "It's still just a Hyundai". Really......

        Sal Collaziano
        http://www.genesisowners.com
        Carlos
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're retarded
        • 5 Years Ago
        At first, Enzo Ferrari said that it was "Still a Lamborghini." Look at Lambo now. Brilliant cars.

        In the 60s and 70s, American car manufacturers said they were "Still Japanese cars." Look at those Japanese cars now (especially in relation to their American competitors)

        My point?
        Don't be so close minded. Car manufacturers improve over time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its naysayers like you that only make Hyundai and others try harder. Reminds me of Toyota and Honda when they first came to the States. Now look at them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I still don't get what the hold-up was. It doesn't take 3 months to put an engine in a race chassis. Even if you have to custom fab a subframe, a drive shaft and all the wiring / plumbing, etc. I guess they got a little too ambitious.

      I also don't understand why Hyundai would want them to turbo the 3.8.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe budget, no parts being made for it yet, they have other things to do. Maybe Hyundai just provides money and they have to do all the testing. Testing takes time alot of time. Factors we just don't know about. I don't think the budget for drift racing is the same as nascar. Cut the guys some slack
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Justin - That's what I meant by "a little too ambitious". It sounds like his decision to turbo the engine straight away was a bad one, and everything snowballed from there. No existing clutch and flywheel that could handle the power, needed a different transmission (guessing from the bellhousing pic), etc etc.

        I personally would have been ALOT more impressed if they had dropped in the Hyundai engine and transmission "as-is" (naturally aspirated). If he'd have used the 2.0T he probably could have pulled some parts from the EVOX shelf. At least then it'd have more in common with the street car.

        Still, the current setup is very impressive (570 ft-lb!!!) and Hyundai did handle this PR bungle pretty well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Justin who said: "I guess a clutch and flywheel combination for a brand new production car usually comes out in a couple weeks, huh?"

        Sometimes yeah, Mr. Smart Alec. Especially when preproduction models of those production cars have been in the hands of tuners prior to launch. Sometimes performance parts come out immediately upon launch. I would think Hyundai or Millen would have been more prepared if they planned on running the car in competition to not have to suffer the ignominious fate of using a rival engine, even if for a short time.

        That said, yeah it could have been the wait time for a drift clutch to use built to their specifications.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "480 hp at 4,500 rpm and 570 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm"

      That's nice power....but why did they stop revving at 4,500 rpm??? That engine has got to be good to at least 6.5k. Hmmm....."mostly stock internals".
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is no point to high-end power in drifting. A high rpm/ high power output motor does no good. The only thing that counts is having enough tourque to break the wheels free.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I doubt they stopped revving it, the power just peaked at 4500rpm. There should be plenty of power left on the way to redline. It probably needs some better cams to make good top end numbers though.
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