It’s been something of an open secret that Hyundai is working on a high-performance N variant of its popular Tucson medium SUV, set to follow up the first N car, the i30 N.
As far back as last May at the third-gen i30 launch, Hyundai intimated to PerformanceDrive that the Tucson was one of the N models under serious consideration. A new report from Auto Express reveals that Hyundai’s global head of sales was questioned at the new Santa Fe launch, with telling words indicating it is closer than initially thought:
“Tucson is under development, and other models will come after that”.
This means Hyundai will be one of the first automakers to bring the high-performance formula to that market segment. It could, however, quickly get some stiff competition as revealed in our Top 10 potential sports SUVs feature.
The i30 N’s 202kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine would be the most likely candidate, which in the lighter hatchback body is good for a 6.1-second 0-100km/h sprint. In addition to the i30 N’s six-speed manual, an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox is set to be on the way. It should give improved power-down abilities and therefore acceleration.
Hyundai’s first SUV with a performance bent was the Santa Fe SR, which scored lightweight 19-inch alloys, four-piston Brembo brakes and a locallly-developed sports suspension package.
With Albert Biermann at the helm of Hyundai’s N division, we can expect something pretty special for the Tucson N. In the UK report, Biermann said:
“If I look at the Tucson, the substance of it is so strong technically speaking, to make a Tucson N… I would love to do it.”
It’s expected launch time is mid-2019. What do you think about the idea of an N-fettled Tucson? Does it appeal to your needs? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.