Chicago LIVE: Hyundai goes rallying with Veloster [Video]

Long-time Hyundai partner Rhys Millen - among other rally drivers - will be piloting several new Veloster coupes in the U.S. Rallycross Championship and X Games races.

Hyundai recently revealed an all-new model, the Veloster, and now the Korean automaker is looking to tap into the celebrity power of Rhys Millen, rally champion Marcus Dodd and world record freestyle motorbike rider Robbie Maddison to get behind the wheel of rally-spec Velosters in 2011 to help spread the word about the car.

According to Hyundai, Rhys Millen and his team fabricated a 500 horsepower, 600 lb-ft of torque all-wheel drive Veloster rally car that he will compete with in the 2011 U.S. Rallycross Championship. In addition to Millen's car, Hyundai and RMR have teamed up to build a second car that will be piloted by Dodd and Maddison to drive in the Summer X Games.

A third Veloster rally car will be constructed in order to compete in the two-wheel drive class of the U.S. Rallycross Championship events, but Hyundai has yet to secure its promised celebrity drivers for that vehicle.

(More after video)

Details on the Millen Veloster
Making sure his car was as competitive as possible, Rhys and his team have replaced the body panels of their rally car with one-off carbon/Kevlar panels, including the good, doors, quarter panels, front fascia and rear fascia for 75 percent weight savings compared to the stock panels. A custom RMR rear wing was also constructed for added downforce, and the hood is now vented to keep the heat off that 500 horsepower beastly engine.

Of course one can't just shed weight on the exterior, inside the RMR Red Bull Veloster saw all of its comfort and convenience features gutted, and an eight-point safety roll cage added, along with a firewall to reinforce the chassis. Braces were also added to both the A- and B-pillars.

Underneath the car the suspension was completely swapped for a custom setup designed by RMR that will be capable of absorbing the incessant jumps and ruts associated with rally racing.

Race-ready power on tap
RMR, Millen and Hyundai decided to go with a HKS turbocharged 2.0-liter inline fourcr-cylinder engine that is mated to an X-Trac sic-speed sequential shift transmission. As mentioned before, this heavily modified setup cranks out a healthy 500 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.

All of that power is transferred to the ground - whether that be dirt, mud, snow or tarmac - via custom HRE 18-inch wheels wrapped in 245/40R18 Hankook Racing tires. Slowing the Veloster is done with the aid of 14-inch Alcon rotors and six-piston Alcon calipers in the front, and 12-inch Alcon rotors out back.

All told, the Veloster rallycar now weighs in at 2,656 lbs, including the added roll cage and safety additions.

Live Images