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Rhys Millen Prepping Hyundai Hauler for Pikes Peak Record Run

By KBB.com Editors on April 19, 2010 5:49 PM
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Looking more like something you'd see streaking down the Mulsanne Straight at LeMans than competing in the annual Race to the Clouds at Pikes Peak, the RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580 is currently taking shape at the Rhys Millen Racing shops in Huntington Beach, California. Designed to compete in the exotic Unlimited Class, Millen hopes to take this sleek coupe to a new absolute record on the tortuous 12.42-mile/156-corner course and finally shatter the elusive 10-minute mark in the process. The current record to reach the 14,100-foot summit, set in 2007 by Nobihuro "Monster" Tajima in an 885-horsepower Suzuki AWD Unlimited entry, stands at 10:01.408.

Born in New Zealand, Millen already has 17 years experience running on the legendary mountain of dreams and is the current record holder in the Time Attack 2WD division with a 12:09.397 clocking in his Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Beyond his exploits at Pikes Peak, the son of rally legend Rod Millen has also achieved impressive success in rallying and drifting competitions -- including running a specially-prepped Hyundai Genesis Coupe this year in the popular Formula D series. But the new PM580 will be the most ambitious purpose-built racer Millen has ever strapped himself into.

Designed to Dominate

The aero-optimized carbon-fiber bodywork of the RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580 covers a full chromoly frame and rollcage. Power will come from a turbocharged and intercooled Hyundai Lambda V6 opened up from 3.8 to 4.1 liters and capable of producing up to 750 horses -- a total Millen sees as more than enough to take this 1,850-lb mountain missile into the nine-minute range. That motive force will head to all four wheels via a custom Weismann semi-automatic transmission. The PM580 also boasts a trick active center differential that can ship up to 100 percent of the available torque to the front wheels. Millen sees this as a key advantage, given that the Pikes Peak course transitions from paved to dirt surfaces multiple times. Rounding out the PM580's feature set are an "active" rear wing that can add downforce in corners and cut drag on the straights, Brembo brakes and custom 275/45 Toyo Proxy tires on 17-inch HRE alloy wheels. "We are building a car for today's road," said Millen. "This is the package I need to break the record."

Set for June 27, this year's Race to the Clouds promises to be a particularly exciting and competitive event. In addition to the RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580 that Millen hopes will carry him to a new absolute Pikes Peak mark, several other Unlimited Class rivals are expected to mount challenges of their own -- including one more by the "Monster" in his latest Suzuki stormer.

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