Hyundai Genesis Coupe drift car by Rhys Millen Racing

The highlight of Hyundai's booth at this year's Chicago Auto Show is a Genesis Coupe drift car built by Rhys Millen Racing. Sponsored by Red Bull, the vehicle will compete in a number of events this year. Drift champion, Rhys Millen, whose company shares his name, was on hand at the show on Wednesday to help unveil the 550-horsepower Genesis.

"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."

The car will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Formula Drift Professional Drifting Championship, and at select Redline Time Attack series events in 2009.

"The Genesis Coupe Concept inspired me to seek out a relationship with Hyundai and it has developed into multiple projects," said Millen. "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."

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.

To build the car, six RMR employees started by stripping a Genesis Coupe to bare metal, and then leaving it for five days in an Alkali bath to remove all rubber and adhesives. The chassis was then stitch welded for added structural rigidity.

Millen quickly decided to take the already light weight Genesis Coupe and make it even lighter. His crew then took 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.

The interior of the RMR Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe is unrecognizable from its origins. 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 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.

The Hyundai Lambda 3.8-liter V6 engine, which comes standard on the Genesis Coupe 3.8, was stroked to 4.1-liters and further enhanced by a Turbonetics turbocharger. An AEM engine management system is also used. The engine is mated to a HKS sequential transmission. The end result is a Genesis Coupe that produces 550 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque.

To ensure the added power translates 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.

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