With the introduction of the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, the Korean manufacturer now has a car that can be readily modified into a competition machine. Drift legend Rhys Millen got the first call about it from Hyundai, and now Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) is building a Red Bull-sponsored, 550-horsepower Genesis coupe for Millen to drive in the Formula Drift series, selected Redline Time Attacks and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
“We like to refer to the Genesis coupe as the sinister sibling to the North American Car of the Year, the Genesis sedan,” said John Krafcik, acting president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America during a press conference at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. “And we look forward to Rhys harnessing every ounce of energy in the coupe as he campaigns it.”
The car on display at the Chicago auto show and in action in this spectacular video, looks superficially like the car Millen will race, but it is actually a regular production Genesis coupe that, among other things, retains its stock interior trim. The actual racer is currently under construction at the RMR shop in Huntington Beach, California.
Surprisingly, the competition machine will not use a version of the turbocharged four-cylinder that will power the Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec tuner special. Instead Millen will use a heavily modified V6-powered 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
To whip up the Genesis coupe’s 3.8-liter V6 from its standard 306 hp, RMR will stroke the cylinder dimensions to bring displacement up to 4.1 liters and then add a single Turbonetics turbocharger. Some 550 hp and 520 pound-feet of torque will be fed through an HKS-engineered sequential-shift five-speed transmission to the rear wheels. The lightweight, forged-aluminum Enkei RPF1 wheels measure 18-by-9.5 inches in the rear and will be wrapped in 265/40R18 Toyo Proxes R1R tires, while the 18-by-8.5-inch front wheels will wear 225/40R18 examples of the Toyos.
Naturally, the unibody structure of the Genesis coupe will be fortified to withstand the abuse of racing and drifting. So after complete disassembly, the production Genesis coupe body shell will be dipped in an alkali bath to remove all rubber and adhesives (maybe shedding a few pounds in the process). Then the RMR crew welds all the unibody’s seams to enhance structural rigidity and then further strengthens the car with a roll cage. The hood, deck lid, roof, doors, front fenders, rear fender blisters and fascia will all be replaced with carbon-fiber replicas to reduce weight. The wing out back is a fully adjustable APR GTC-500, while the front splitter and rear air diffuser also add downforce. The hood is vented for cooling, while the rocker skirts improve aerodynamic efficiency by reducing turbulence under the car.
According to Hyundai, the goal is a 2,400-pound curb weight for Millen’s drifter. That’s down almost 1,000 pounds from the stock 3,397-pound Genesis coupe.