Vital Stats

Engine:
Turbocharged 4.1L V6
Power:
800 HP (est.)
Transmission:
6-Speed Sequential
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
2,000 LBS (est.)
Seating:
1
Wider, Lower And Decidedly More Sinister



Rhys Millen was sitting on a cooler whittling away at a piece of aluminum when I first arrived at the expansive skidpad at the California Proving Grounds, owned by Hyundai, located in a desolate part of the California desert about a dozen miles east of Mojave. By the time I had walked over to the accomplished driver for introductions, he had picked up a piece of sandpaper and begun to arduously file away at the alloy's rough edges, smoothing them masterfully.

He was focused on the job, but I politely interrupted him and asked what he was making. Ryhs looked up, smiled, and then grabbed a few zip-ties and asked me to come over to the new Hyundai RMR PM580-T, destined for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in just two short weeks, raised on its air jacks just a few yards away.
Hyundai Genesis RMR PM580-THyundai Genesis RMR PM580-THyundai Genesis RMR PM580-T

It was late morning, and the blue, white and orange race car sat naked and exposed, missing most of its outer skin. Unlike last year's vehicle, a 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe race car, which set the course record at 9:46.164, the new car looks wider, lower and decidedly more sinister. My objective was to find out why.

The most striking part of the engine bay was unquestionably the gold foil.

A closer look revealed a carbon fiber monocoque tub, actually a Gen-1 Crawford Performance Engineering Daytona Prototype chassis (manufactured in November 2005), clearly visible through the custom tubing. With the exception of the pushrod suspension with coil-overs, brake ducting for the iron rotors on the outsides of the frame rails and the large aluminum radiator tilted forward to swallow fresh airflow at altitude (the blue hose, mounted just ahead of the radiator, provides a cooling spray of water), there really wasn't much else to the front end.

The rear, however, was all business as the race team had bolted one of Hyundai's Lambda V6 engines in place. While the engine started life as a naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter, it now existed as a 4.1-liter V6 forced to breathe through an absolutely massive Garrett turbocharger. A custom intake, free-flow exhaust, specialized engine management and a diet of racing fuel provide all of the proper ingredients to generate upwards of 800 horsepower. The rear-wheel drive powertrain features a sequential six-speed gearbox, with a clutch for launch. The most striking part of the engine bay was unquestionably the gold foil, its bright surface covering as much as possible in an effort to reflect the immense heat away from critical parts.

Hyundai Genesis RMR PM580-THyundai Genesis RMR PM580-THyundai Genesis RMR PM580-THyundai Genesis RMR PM580-T

The lightweight shell maintains most of the production Genesis Coupe styling cues.

While I was utterly mesmerized by the size of the silicone hose coming off the intake side of the turbo (it's about the diameter of my thigh), Rhys had suited up in Nomex and was preparing to go. After a walk-around, he climbed into the PM580-T through an open panel in its roof while the crew positioned the front and rear carbon-fiber bodywork in place and snapped it snug. The Hyundai executives who were present seemed visibly pleased, as the lightweight shell (designed and fabricated by Rhys Millen Racing) maintains most of the production Genesis Coupe styling cues – perfect for marketing.

The fired-up V6 was quieter than most racecars, giving credit to the turbocharger that masked much of the noise. But its roar was much more apparent when its ass-end pointed at me after Millen steered it off the skidpad and aimed it towards a mocked-up, and very unchallenging, road course (Hyundai tests its civilian cars, SUVs and minivans here). I ran and joined the others in a chase vehicle as we headed over to a closer vantage point.

Rhys Millen Testing the New RMR PM580-T Pikes Peak Racer

The PM580-T whooshed by at a radar-clocked 146 miles per hour (the transmission is only geared to 148 mph flat-out).

Millen took it easy at first, but then he really started to push it. The wail of the engine, and each subsequent pop of the blow-off, fought with the wind for dominance. I stood with the crew, probably too close to the track, waiting for him to come down the short straight. About a minute later, the orange greenhouse was visible through the Joshua trees. Seconds later, it burst out the last left sweeper at full throttle. Without lifting off the accelerator, the PM580-T whooshed by at a radar-clocked 146 miles per hour (the transmission is only geared to 148 mph flat-out). The crew appeared pleased, but it was only one good test... and there were dozens more to follow before challenging another record at Pikes Peak.

[I did eventually find out what Rhys was working on when I met him earlier in the day. It seems the first Lexan windshield was too thin and bowing inward at speed (only he could see it, as it would move back when the car would slow). Millen, a hands-on guy, made four small brackets and zip-tied each to the front cage to prevent the windshield from moving – he mentioned a thicker panel would be screwed in place before the race at Pikes Peak.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Allaround
      • 1 Year Ago
      Best looking DP around! PPIHC records will mean much more this year with last year's paved road baselines. Besides the big diffuser though, Millens car looks downright under-winged!
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the weirdest looking front end I've seen so far. I dunno if its smiling or if it frowning or if it just sad.
      wafflesnfalafel
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah - looks about as much like a Genesis Coupe as the current Daytona prototype Corvette looks like a road going Corvette. But not bad looking. Odd super long rear diffuser. The gold tubing makes it look like something out of the NASA SaturnV moonshot program.
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Talk about down syndrome "styling"...
        bK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @IBx27
        Thats not nice!, but I must agree....
      Bobby Tiger MacRae
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is not much "Genesis" left in that car.....
      Carlos Vargas
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like a repurposed daytona prototype.
        Andrew
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Carlos Vargas
        Did you not read the article?
        Jeremy Zucker
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Carlos Vargas
        Well yeah! They mentioned it's a 1st gen Crawford from 05'. I'm wondering what ever happend to that all wheel drive LMP looking car that he had a few years back?
      Sineira
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too bad he will be 30 seconds behind the Peugot ...
      dtrump_21
      • 1 Year Ago
      Car face says 'No....NO!!!! Quite pushing me it hurts, ouchi! I dont wanna play no more .... Loebs gonna win anyways .. He just is ... you're making me look silly ... uurrgghhhhh' :)
      Jmaister
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why is the intake at the back? Wouldn't the aero dynamic suck air out of it? Or its positioned due to low pressure zone????
        Zeus
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jmaister
        What are you talking about? The air intake is in the back of the car because thats where the engine is and thats where they can package it. The ducts on the side of the car ram air in via tunneling and the engine breathes that air. How would the aerodynamics suck air from the engine's filter? I've never heard that one before.
      ToyotaSupraMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Has a DP chassis been used in Pikes Peak before?
      Jasonn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not sure if those are actual headlights or Lightning Mcqueen like stickers...
      De La Great
      • 1 Year Ago
      They can at least paint a better pair of better looking headlights than those
    • Load More Comments
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