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Hyundai's performance plans may include a hopped-up Tucson

It seems Hyundai is eager to add a number of models to its upcoming N sub-brand.

2017 Tucson

Hyundai is getting ready to launch its own performance sub-brand, and it's not about to limit itself to hot hatches and sedans.

One of the Hyundai vehicles in contention for this new N badge is the Tucson compact crossover, reports, based on an interview with Albert Biermann, the head of Hyundai's N division. The first N car will be a hot-hatch variant of the i30, which is sold in the US as the Elantra GT. It's unclear if the N variant will come to the US, though.

Slam this thing to the ground, add some meatier tires and more aggressive aero, and you've got a solid little performance crossover.


"If you look at the Tucson today it is very relaxed, very comfortable to drive, but to have an N version requires a lot of power, nice transmission, nice handling, sportier tyres and lowered body," Biermann told "The cars are out there and we can have a very good business with SUVs. We have a good platform with the Tucson to make a high-performance SUV."

Hyundai is open to slapping the N badge on a variety of models. It's believed that other N-branded offerings will include the follow-up to the Veloster and maybe also the Accent. The sky's the limit, really -- Hyundai just needs to make sure any required modifications don't price the car out of competitiveness.

The idea of a performance-oriented crossover is hardly new. BMW and Mercedes-AMG have been delivering them for years, albeit at way higher prices. It's rumored that Ford is thinking along the same lines as Hyundai, reportedly working on RS variants of its crossover lineup, including a hi-po Escape.

One place you won't see the N badge, though, is on Hyundai's new Genesis luxury brand. Biermann told that there exist no current plans to introduce performance models under Genesis, despite many of its competitors doing exactly that. It's happier creating sporty cars with balance, such as the new Genesis 3.3T Sport.