The normally mild-mannered Hyundai Tucson is the latest model to go under the knife for this year’s SEMA show. Hyundai partnered with tuning group Vaccar to create this Tucson Sport concept, and although the company is light on specifics so far, the crossover is said to go “far beyond its OEM roots.”
The visual changes on the outside are obvious, with massive 20-by-9.5-inch wheels squeezed into the wheel wells that usually house 17- or 19-inch rolling stock. A unique two-tone paint scheme covers various upgrade body parts, include a new front lip, side skirts, and rear diffuser from Vaccar. Within the cabin, too, the Tucson benefits from new Ice Grey leather upholstery with blue stitching, a variety of new gauges for keeping tabs on the engine’s performance, and a new 9-inch infotainment system feeding headrest-mounted displays, a 12-inch subwoofer, and various other upgraded speakers.
We’re most intrigued about what has happened under the hood, where Hyundai and Vaccar claim to have installed an uprated turbocharger, new AEM inlet piping, a Mishimoto intercooler, a new exhaust, and other supporting tweaks. The only detail missing is perhaps the most critical: how much power do all these changes produce? From the factory, Hyundai sells the Tucson with a 1.6-liter inline-four and a 2.0-liter turbo-four, good for 164 and 175 horsepower, respectively. It’s not clear which mill serves as this Tucson Sport’s donor engine, nor how much the performance modifications do to bolster the horsepower figure.
To keep pace with whatever extra go has been added, the tuners also stepped up the Tucson’s handling game. Those big new wheels wear Continental ExtremeContact Sport rubber, there are new Power Stop brakes all round, and the car sits on adjustable coilovers – helping produce that slammed-to-the-ground stance.
Hyundai’s booth at this year’s SEMA show will also feature a highly modified Elantra Sport sedan and a beefy, off-road-ready Santa Fe Sport, as well as an ultra-efficient HyperEconiq Ioniq concept.