Hyundai’s newly minted N performance division is open to applying its know-how to the Tucson and Kona crossovers.
Hyundai’s N sub-brand was launched with the debut of the 271 horsepower i30 N in Europe. The N lineup will eventually comprise of a number of different models spanning a variety of segments – including crossovers. A Tucson N has already received the green light for production, while a Kona N is a strong possibility. Don’t expect these models anytime soon, however. Hyundai wants every N badged product to be just right, so it won’t rush the rollout of the Tucson N or Kona N.
“Establishing a performance brand is something that we feel we need to be very careful with, very cautious with and make sure every single car we develop under that brand and deliver to market has to be exceptional,” senior head of product planning at Hyundai Australia, Andrew Tuitahi, told Motoring in a recent interview. “Customers really seem to be interested in the performance SUV, the combination of family and fun,” he added.
The i30 N gives us a very good idea of what to expect from Hyundai’s N division going forward. The hot hatch is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 247 horsepower in standard form and a whopping 271 horsepower with the optional performance package. That same performance package will also replace the standard 18-inch wheels with 19s and add more powerful brakes, a rear chassis brace and a mechanical differential. A six-speed manual transmission sends power to the front wheels, enabling a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds.
Before N introduces performance versions of the Tucson or Kona, it will likely debut the rumored Veloster N. The Veloster N should feature similar specs and equipment to the i30 N and is expected to be the first N model to arrive in North America. We’re expecting to see it at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, or perhaps sometime later next year, so stay tuned for more info on N’s North American launch.
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