Professional drifters will have a new competitor to contend with this year as Hyundai jumps into the mix with Rhys Millen. The Genesis Coupe is still a couple of months from going on sale here in the U.S., but Hyundai is ramping up its promotional efforts. The latest is a sponsorship deal with Rhys Millen Racing to run the new coupe in several different series. Millen is building a drift/race car based on the coupe with a 550-hp Lambda V6. While roadgoing Genesis Coupes get a normally aspirated 3.8L V6 as the top engine, Millen's machine is punched out to 4.1 liters and boosted with a Turbonetics turbocharger.
The team has taken a stock coupe chassis and stripped it down to the bare essentials. They will be stitch welding all the seams to improve rigidity and then adding carbon fiber body panels with a goal of getting the car's weight down to 2,400 lbs. Along with support from the factory, the Millen car will also be wearing Red Bull colors. Millen will run the car up Pikes Peak this summer and spend the rest of the year campaigning it in Formula Drift Professional Drifting Championship, as well as selected races of the Redline Time Attack series.
Live photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, inc.
HYUNDAI LAUNCHES RHYS MILLEN RACING RED BULL drift TEAM SPONSORSHIP AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2009 – With enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the upcoming launch of the 2010 Genesis Coupe, Hyundai is adding to the excitement by teaming with Rhys Millen Racing and Red Bull Energy Drink to campaign the car in the high-energy sport of drift racing this year.
At the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled its motorsports program in the U.S. with the help of drift champion Rhys Millen, who will fabricate and race a 550-horsepower Genesis Coupe in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Formula Drift Professional Drifting Championship and at select Redline Time Attack series events in 2009.
"Today's announcement puts the Genesis Coupe into three great motorsports series," said John Krafcik, acting president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "We like to refer to the Genesis Coupe as the sinister sibling to the North American Car of the Year, the Genesis sedan and we look forward to Rhys harnessing every ounce of energy in the Coupe as he campaigns it."
Millen and his team are an ideal match to launch Hyundai's racing efforts. Millen's driving credentials include movie stunts, multiple drifting championships, a Pikes Peak world record and his recent New Year's Eve Las Vegas truck flip. But behind Millen's success in the driver's seat is a full team of engineers and fabricators that know how to maximize the potential of a race car.
Millen had his first opportunity to test drive the Genesis Coupe's performance credentials when he performed precision driving for the car's debut advertising campaign. Millen flogged a Genesis Coupe for three days during the filming process at Road Atlanta racetrack, and the car never missed a beat.
"The Genesis Coupe Concept inspired me to seek out a relationship with Hyundai and it has developed into multiple projects," said Millen, professional race driver and founder of RMR. "The immediate focus is developing the RMR Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe into a drift car with a 550-horsepower engine and a lightweight, rigid chassis. We are applying everything we know about fabricating into building this car."
THE CHASSIS BUILD
Six RMR employees have already stripped a Genesis Coupe to bare metal and the chassis has spent five days in an Alkali bath removing all rubber and adhesives. The chassis has also been stitch welded for added structural rigidity.
CARBON FIBER BODY PANELS
Millen quickly decided to take the already light weight Genesis Coupe and make it even lighter. His crew will take the molds used to build the "Art of Speed" SEMA car to once again replicate the Genesis Coupe's body out of carbon fiber. The hood, deck lid, roof, doors, fenders, front fascia and side skirts are all built out of carbon fiber. The carbon fiber panels range from 50 percent to 80 percent lighter than the sheet metal they replaced. For example, a factory Hyundai Genesis Coupe door weighs 68 pounds but modifications made by RMR reduce the door weight to just 8.5 pounds. This weight-saving approach is carried throughout the car without compromising its powerful curves, surface detail and "Z" bodyside line.
The side skirts have functional flat rocker panels with ducts to pull air out from underneath the car. A functional splitter on the front fascia and a built-in diffuser create pressure without drag. A rear diffuser with long tunnels keeps the air moving underneath the car. Downforce has been further increased by an APR GTC-500 rear wing that is fully adjustable and was designed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. The hood is vented to dissipate heat and Aerocatch hood latches are used for safety.
The rear widebody fenders are also made out of carbon fiber and blend seamlessly into the vehicle design with a creative painting concept. The goal curb for the car is 2,400 pounds.
The interior of the RMR Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe is unrecognizable from its origins as a well-appointed 2+2 coupe designed with everyday driving in mind. All comfort and convenience features are removed to make way for a custom-fabricated eight-point safety cage and firewall which reinforce the Genesis Coupe's already stiff chassis. By removing the roof, the RMR fabricators welded every aspect of the safety cage to the frame of the car. The braces on the A and B pillars also tie into the strength of the body. The safety cage is required for racing and a single Sparco racing seat further protects the driver in the overhauled cockpit.
The RMR Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe utilizes a KW remote reservoir three-way adjustable coilover suspension. Adjustable chro-moly sway bars dial the suspension in further for true track performance. RMR also fabricated adjustable lower control arms, rear control arms and toe links to allow precise tuning of the chassis.
ENGINE AND TURBO KIT
The Hyundai Lambda 3.8-liter V6 engine, which comes standard on the Genesis Coupe 3.8, will be stroked to 4.1-liters and further enhanced by a Turbonetics turbocharger. An AEM engine management system will also be used. The engine will be mated to a HKS sequential transmission. The end result is a Genesis Coupe that will produce 550 horsepower and 520 lb.-ft. of torque.
WHEELS, TIRES AND BRAKES
To ensure that the enhanced power plant translates all the way to road performance, RMR added 18- by 8.5-inch front and 18- by 9.5-inch rear Enkei RPF1 light weight wheels and 225/40-18 Toyo Proxes R1R front tires and 265/40 Toyo Proxes R1R rear tires.
The paint scheme is a combination of blue, silver and unpainted black carbon fiber with its signature weave pattern.
· Toyo Tires
· Genius Tools
· Royal Purple
· APR Performance
· KW Suspension
· BC ( Brian Crower)
· Enkei Wheels
· JE Pistons
· The Driveshaft Shop.
RHYS MILLEN – DRIVER, OWNER RMR
With more than 16 years of racing experience, Rhys Millen has established himself as one of the premier rally/drifting drivers in North America. Born in New Zealand in 1972, Rhys is the son of famed rally and off-road racer Rod Millen. Rhys joined Rod in the U.S. as a teenager and soon afterwards established himself as racer by taking first at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the Open Division and winning Rookie of the Year. He won the Formula Drift championship in 2005 and was runner-up in 2006.
RHYS MILLEN CAREER HIGHLIGHTS - 2008
· Red Bull Drifting World Championship winner
· Pikes Peak Time Attack 2-Wheel Drive Champion (set new world record)
RHYS MILLEN CAREER HIGHLIGHTS - 2007
· Pikes Pike Time Attack Champion
· First Place - Long Beach Team Drift
· Second Place - Formula Drift, New Jersey
· Third Place - Formula Drift, West Virginia
RHYS MILLEN CAREER HIGHLIGHTS – 2006
· Formula Drift Champion Runner-Up
· Formula Drift Tires.com Triple Crown Champion
RHYS MILLEN CAREER HIGHLIGHTS – 2005
· Formula Drift Champion
· First Place - Formula Drift, New Jersey
· Second Place - Formula Drift, Irwindale
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of South Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 780 dealerships nationwide.