The two models will be crucial for the brand's performance division.
Hyundai has confirmed through the voice of its N performance division boss, Albert Biermann, that it has given the Tucson N and Kona N sports crossovers the green light for production. We were already aware of the South Korean brand’s plans for the larger of the two, but now, through a new report from Motoring, we learn the cute Kona will also get a sporty treatment.
Both the vehicles will get more powerful engines, bigger brakes, more aggressive suspension settings, and substantial body kit. At this point, it’s not clear which one of the two will be launched first, but it has already been confirmed by Hyundai execs both the Tucson N and Kona N don’t have a high priority for the N performance division.
“I think it’ll be a slow burn,” Andrew Tuitahi, senior manager of product planning at Hyundai Australia, told the publication. “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.”
The N division has been created in attempt to move Hyundai upmarket and change the perception of customers for the brand. The sporty SUVs will have a crucial role in this move, but just don’t have high launch priority at the moment.
“We are hoping the N branding will bring something new to our models,” Hyundai Australia boss, J.W. Lee said, told Motoring. “We want to change customer perception, but we can’t do this overnight. Whenever we do research, customer perception is always that we have affordable or cheaper cars. Good cars, but budget cars. I hope the N badge is going to create a halo effect for our brand.”