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Hyundai RM19 concept to inspire mid-engine production car

The performance model will serve as a halo for the brand.

Hyundai's mid-engine RM19 concept apparently previews an upcoming halo sports car for the Korean automaker's N sub-brand.

The company debuted the RM19 at the Los Angeles Auto Show as a widebody race car, the latest in a line of "Racing Midship" concepts that have debuted since 2012. The RM series has been presented as design studies and engineering testbeds for future N products, "including a potential brand-halo car," according to the latest press release.

Speaking to Car and Driver, a Hyundai representative has all but confirmed production intentions for the mid-engine performance model, making a firmer commitment than R&D head Albert Biermann's "maybe someday" statement last year.

"Biermann doesn't do these things just for kicks," a spokesman now says, adding that a production car "wouldn't look dissimilar" to the RM19 concept.

The RM19 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 390 horsepower, rocketing the car to 60 mph in less than four seconds. Hyundai claims "racecar-like" levels of performance, braking and grip, while retaining daily-driver capability.

The automaker has also hinted at potential electrified variants in the future, including a pure battery-powered EV. A partnership with Croatian electric supercar builder Rimac has already initiated development of high-performance electric and fuel-cell prototypes.

For now, the mid-engine production car is still at least a few years away from arriving in showrooms.

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