Monday, February 21, 2011

Hyundai Veloster Rally Car

At the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai Motor America has announced that its new Veloster coupe will be competing in the Northern Hemisphere Summer X Games during the 2011 U.S. Rallycross Championship Series.

With the next generation of Hyundai buyers eagerly awaiting the upcoming launch of the Veloster, Hyundai has fuelled the excitement by teaming with Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) and Red Bull to campaign the car in the high-energy sport of rallycross.

Hyundai Motor America adds the Veloster coupe to its motorsports program with the help of champion race car driver Rhys Millen, who fabricated and will race the first 500-horsepower AWD Veloster rally car in the 2011 U.S. Rallycross Championship.

RMR and Hyundai are constructing a second Veloster rally car which will be a shared ride between rally champion Marcus Dodd and world record freestyle motorbike rider Robbie Maddison. Millen and Maddison will drive the Veloster rally cars at the Northern Hemisphere Summer X Games. A third Veloster rally car will be constructed to compete in the 2WD-class in a limited number of U.S. Rallycross Championship events and will be piloted by soon to-be-announced celebrity drivers.

"We feel the Veloster is a perfect fit for X Games and the U.S. Rallycross Championship series as we expand our motorsports efforts," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, Product and Corporate Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "The all-new 2012 Veloster is a playful, fun-to-drive car and thanks to Rhys and his team we're excited to introduce it to racing fans ahead of its planned launch in this summer. I teamed up with Rhys' father, Rod, nearly twenty years ago for Hyundai's original Pikes Peak rally program, so it is great to be back in the sport again with his son inspiring a new generation."

"We've transformed the Veloster's lightweight, rigid architecture into a rally car with an engine producing 500-horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, said Millen, professional race driver and founder of RMR. "We hope some of the performance learnings from the Veloster rallycross program will have a role in the development of future Veloster models."

Twelve RMR employees applied everything they know about fabricating race cars into the Veloster rally car. The original production Veloster was stripped back to bare metal, and the chassis spent five days in an alkali-bath removing all rubber and adhesives. The chassis was also stitch welded for added structural rigidity.

Millen quickly decided to take the already lightweight Veloster, and make it even lighter. His crew took molds of the Veloster body panels to replicate them out of carbon/Kevlar. The bonnet, doors, quarter panels, and front and rear fascias are all built out of carbon/Kevlar. The carbon/Kevlar panels are 75 percent lighter than the sheet metal they replaced. This weight-saving approach is carried throughout the car without compromising its powerful curves, and surface detail or the hidden third door.

Downforce has been further increased by a custom RMR rear wing. The bonnet has been vented to dissipate heat. The curb weight for the car is now 1204.7kgs.

Hyundai Veloster Rally Car Interio
The interior of the RMR Red Bull Hyundai Veloster rally car is unrecognisable from its origins as a well-appointed sporty 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 Veloster's already stiff chassis. Braces on both the A and B pillars also tie into the strength of the body. The safety cage is a rally safety requirement, and a Sparco racing seat further protects the driver in the overhauled cockpit.

The RMR Red Bull Hyundai Veloster rally car utilises a custom suspension with increased travel to allow for the harsh jumps rallycross cars have to make.

The Hyundai 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is further enhanced by a HKS ball bearing turbocharger. The engine is mated to an X-Trac six-speed sequential transmission. The end result is a Veloster producing 500-horsepower (373kW) and 600 lb.-ft. of torque (813Nm) of torque.

To ensure the enhanced power plant translates all the way to on-track performance, RMR added custom built 18-inch HRE wheels and 245/40R18 Hankook Racing tyres. Stopping power comes from 14-inch Alcon brake rotors and six-piston Alcon callipers. The entire carbon/Kevlar body is wrapped in a striking paint scheme combination of blue, white and orange.

A rallycross race consists of five rally-style cars, who will start at once, jumping and sliding on a pavement and gravel road course. The challenging short course features jumps, unbanked turns, dirt and bitumen. Each car must also complete a "Joker" lap at some point during their heat. A Joker lap is a small detour - normally over a jump -adding a level of unpredictability to the heat's outcome, by changing a driver's strategy in an instant.

Rhys Millen will be taking on David Higgins and Dave Mirra in Subaru WRX STIs, Ken Block and Tanner Foust in Ford Fiestas and Antoine L'Estage in his Mitsubishi EVO X, to name a few.

General specifications
Country of originSouth Korea
Numbers builtN/A
Produced in2011
Introduced at2011 Chicago Auto Show
Body designRMR for Hyundai Motor North America

ConfigurationStraight 4
LocationFront, transversely mounted
Displacement2 liter / 122 cu in
Valvetrain4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feedFuel Injection
AspirationHKS Turbo

GearboxXTrac 6 speed Sequential
DriveAll wheel drive

Weight1205 kilo / 2656.6 lbs

Performance figures
Power500 bhp / 373 KW
Torque813 Nm / 600 ft lbs
BHP/Liter250 bhp / liter
Power to weight0.41 bhp / kg


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