The mid-sized SUV will get a sporty makeover in Europe, along with another mild-hybrid powertrain. Looks sporty-ish, will likely drive sporty-ish.
Hyundai is preparing to expand its N-Line trim in Europe, giving the warmed-over i30 a Tucson-based brother.
The new Tucson N-Line looks likely to launch at the Geneva motor show next month, with a range "of motorsport-influenced details inside and out".
Based on what we've seen, the car will get a more aggressive front-end treatment and unique alloy wheels, along with N-Line badging on its flanks.
The gearstick will also be a unique N-Line unit, while the seats and dash appear to have been treated to red stitching. Beyond that, we'd wager the same range of updates offered on the i30 will be transferred to the Tucson.
That means more aggressive bumpers at both ends, a noisier exhaust and potentially a lower ride will likely differentiate the car from its more basic brethren.
Along with the N-Line trim, the Tucson will get a "new" mild-hybrid powertrain. Last year, the Tucson was treated to a 0.44kWh 48-volt lithium-ion battery, mild-hybrid starter generator, LDC converter and an inverter.
With this setup, the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel Tucson is assisted with up to 12kW for short periods, which can reduce fuel economy by up to 7.0 per cent under New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
We'd suggest the new powertrain will be based on the existing 1.6L diesel.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Bill Thomas, general manager for external affairs at Hyundai Australia, said: "We should never say never – and remember we always conduct detailed studies of all overseas products – but it’s unlikely we’ll be taking the Tucson mild hybrid here".