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Rhys Millen Racing’s Mid-Engine V8 RM460 Hyundai Genesis Coupe


SEMA cars tend to be one-and-done kind of exhibitions of excess. Often, the cars will leave Vegas and head straight for the scrap yard, or to go on a press tour before being relegated to the dark and dusty corner of a shop somewhere. This one, though, seems to have survived to hoon another day. We spotted this one-of-one custom at last weekend’s Shift-S3ctor half-mile drag racing event in middle-of-nowhere Coalinga, Ca. RMR’s 2009 SEMA entrant was parked up with both hoods open, showing off the amazing engineering underneath. Take one part Genesis Coupe, add eight cylinders of 500 horsepower Genesis-Sedan-sourced 4.6 liter Tau, blend liberally with a pinch of Mendeola sequential gearbox, and a dash of Rhys Millen insanity, and this is what you get.

V8 swap cars are always interesting, but make that doubly so when said V8 is not of the LS variety, and triply so when it’s been mounted amidships in a car that is normally of FR orientation. With eight individual throttle bodies, and a nearly unrestricted exhaust, this car is aural heaven. The engine was appropriately beefed up with 11:1 compression JE pistons, while a piggy-back AEM management system was used in conjunction with the factory ECU in order that the original dash could be retained and remain functional. Aside from the custom valances and fascias, the car appears relatively sedate from the outside. The huge Stop-Tech brakes sitting behind 20 inch HRE wheels certainly help give the car a sporting appearance, and afford it some extra wide rubber for the grip it surely needs.


When it was at SEMA, the HRE wheels were wrapped in Toyo T1R tires. As it sits now, a more street (and wallet) friendly Hankook Ventus V12 Evo is used. I have that same tire (though in 17″ diameter rather than 20) on two of my three cars, and I really like them for the price. A good all-around summer tire, for sure, and certainly an equal to the Toyos. Helping those tires grip is a custom 5-link rear suspension and a highly modified version of the stock MacPherson strut front suspension, all four corners using KW components.

I’ll never really understand California laws, but somehow this thing is tagged and street legal. I was under the impression that engine swap cars were extremely difficult to insure and tag for street use in the land of happy cows. Regardless, I am certainly happier to see this car on the street than if it had taken residence at the bottom of a junk yard stack, or in the back corner of RMR’s Huntington Beach headquarters.

Look for more on our time at the Shift-S3ctor event later this week, the FD RX7 shown above will be heavily featured, and you can bet that it will appeal to the Hoon in all of us.


All images ©2014 Hooniverse/Bradley C. Brownell, All Rights Reserved.

[I promise, Hankook has not compensated me in any way to promote the V12 Evo, I just really like those tires…]

  • calzonegolem

    It is simple.
    1. Get tags for car
    2. Swap engine
    3. ????
    4. Hoon

  • DemonXanth

    I'm noting 2012 registration stickers on that.

    • Scandinavian Flick ★

      I saw that too. Probably the last time it was registered before the swap.

  • One-Eyed Jack

    #1 – Strap in a 300hp nitrous system. #2 – Reshoot body in midnight black. #3 – Add flamethrowers to tailpipes. #4 – Make out last will and testament. #5 – Take a deep breath and ……

  • Van_Sarockin

    So,what box do I have to check on my dealer's order form to get one of those?

  • Ghawk8199

    I don't know what it is, maybe the angle, but the license plate just doesn't look like its in the center of the tailpipes. Its driving me crazy.

    • smalleyxb122

      It's entirely an optical illusion based on the shadow. I copied the image into paint, and "erased" the shadow, and it looks straight centered.

      • Ghawk8199

        Now see, this is why I love Hooniverse! Everyone is willing to go that extra mile to help.

        "You are awesome."
        The World


    I always loved this car. Bonkers drivetrain, tasteful exterior modifications (for a SEMA car), and being a Millen car, it probably actually works really well. I'm really glad to see this one didn't get crushed and is actually out there doing stuff.

  • jarque

    The gist of the law about engine swaps in California is that the engine has to be the same year as the chassis or newer, and all of the emissions equipment has to be retained and intact. So no 2015 sticker for this car.

  • jeepjeff

    California may be the standard for strict emissions laws, but there's enough of a car customization culture here that there are exceptions and alternate registration routes. I can totally believe that this car has stickers for driving on the street.

    • Scandinavian Flick ★

      <img src="http://i.imgur.com/UbxuEfP.gif&quot; width="450">

      • jeepjeff

        http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/spcns.htm is my guess. At some point there was a "pay more, and no smog if driven less than 2000mi/year" option, but I'm not seeing documentation for that anywhere on the DMV website (it might still exist, as I can believe they make it hard to find out about). The Wombat is using another grey area to sneak through.

  • dukeisduke

    I remember seeing a build thread on this, maybe on Autoblog.

  • 3304HL

    I'm almost more intrigued in the "jet" air intake on that RX-7…

  • The Stop-Tech brakes behind the 20 inch HRE wheels look immense!! Nice motor!! GT