Hyundai's Next N Performance Model Will Be An SUV

A performance version of the Hyundai Tucson is already under development, says Hyundai's sales boss

While we're just getting to know the Hyundai N performance sub-brand here in the United States by way of the Veloster N's reveal at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, engineers are hard at work in Europe readying the next model wear the N badge—and it's an SUV. According to Auto Express, the next Hyundai vehicle to get N's special sauce won't be another hot hatchback, but it will still have a hatch of sorts: the Hyundai Tucson compact SUV.

The British outlet, while attending the launch of the new Hyundai Santa Fe, asked Hyundai’s global head of sales, Byung Kwon Rhim, about the future of the N performance sub-brand. “The Tucson is under development, and other models will come after that,” he replied. In Europe, Hyundai launched the brand using the i30 hatchback. On American shores, the first model to wear the performance badge will be the second-generation Veloster. It makes sense Hyundai would want to give some boost to a global product for its second act, especially one as popular as the Tucson.

Last year, N boss Albert Biermann, formerly of BMW M, stated his desire to do a hopped-up Hyundai Tucson. “If I look at the Tuscon, the substance of it is so strong technically speaking, to make a Tucson... I would love to do it,” Biermann said at the time. Auto Express reports the Tucson will likely get the same engine as the i30: a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 making 271 bhp. Unfortunately, there was nothing mentioned regarding future U.S. availability, but if we were forced to make a bet, we'd put our money on its arrival sometime after it launches in Europe. Auto Express predicts that will happen in the second half of 2019.

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