Almost one year ago, Auto Express quoted Hyundai’s global head of sales as saying that a Tucson N “is under development, and other models will come after that.” The same publication says it can confirm the Tucson N will appear within two years, bringing an N-tuned powertrain with it that corrals 340 horsepower.
AE says N division engineers are shooting for a 0 to 60 time under six seconds for the Tucson N, because, according to “an insider,” Hyundai is “not interested in making also-ran cars with N badges on them in whatever class they compete.” The 275-hp Veloster N has been timed at 5.2 seconds for the same dash. Depending on final output, Hyundai should be safe to get a vehicle expected to weigh about 800 pounds more than the Veloster N to meet the target. Precedent’s already been established by the Germans, which is who Hyundai’s N division wants to play with anyway. The 362-hp Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 weighs 4,153 pounds and gets to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds, the 4,321-pound, 369-hp Audi SQ5 makes it in 5.1 seconds. The coming BMW X3 M is expected to fall between 400 and 450 hp, and could best the whole field.
If the power and performance numbers holds true, the Tucson N would not only be the most powerful N offering when it arrives, it would murder every one of its traditional competitors. The output front-runner and driving-dynamics leader Mazda CX-5 maxes out at 250 hp, the fan favorite Toyota RAV4 tops out at 203 hp.
AE said the Tucson N will arrive as “towards the end of the current model’s lifecycle.” This seems like an odd choice. Every N car so far has been introduced with a new generation of the applicable model. Previous generations of the Tucson have lasted exactly five years; with the present Tucson on sale since 2016, an N version coming in two years would couldn’t do anything more than make the most of an old platform, countering what has so far been a winning strategy.
We should know a bunch more before two years is up, though. Before the crossover shows, the i20 N will roll out of the N pipeline for international markets in early 2020.