The Koreans are preparing a 276-horsepower Kona N performance crossover, but in the meantime here’s a lukewarm 2021 Hyundai Tucson N Line
You could blame the Ancient Greeks for mixing tragedy with comedy, and beginning the long conditioning act of acclimatising us to this eventuality – sporty crossovers. We buy so much crap that we literally have to invent new things to sell us even when the pieces clearly don’t fit together.
Naturally hot crossovers are a hit, and the Koreans now finally have one of their own offerings in the C-segment. The new 2021 Hyundai Tucson N Line follows the lauded act of the i30 N, which set the bar pretty high. In order to tread into the performance car market for the first time, Hyundai poached Albert Biermann and Thomas Schemera from BMW’s M division, and set about honing its chassis at the Nürburgring. The result was much appreciated by the motoring press, with every journalist who tried the i30 N praising the handling and the manual six-speed transmission.
Unfortunately the Hyundai N Line isn’t quite that focussed, and as the name suggests it’s merely a trim level in the regular Tucson range that serves up a bunch of sporty design elements, and the same standard range of engines. Hyundai is actually preparing a smaller Kona N as a full-blown performance crossover to go up against your Audis, BMWs, and Mercs, with a 276-horsepower turbocharged engine, a twin-clutch gearbox, and front-wheel drive. It’ll reach a maximum speed of 250km/h and it’ll do zero to 100km/h in under six seconds, and the Tucson N Line won’t, because of the ‘Line’.
That means the Tucson N Line is just a new grille, new bumpers, black exterior detailing, a rear spoiler, some exhaust tips, and 19-inch wheels. Optionally you can get a contrasting roof, and the interior comes covered in black suede, red stitching, N steering wheel and shift knob.
Hyundai says the new 2021 Tucson N Line will go on sale this summer, before the proper Kona N goes on sale by the end of the year from around $35,000.