The 2021 Hyundai Palisade has just landed in Australia, offering buyers a viable seven- or eight-seater alternative to other large SUVs like the Toyota LandCruiser, but for those who don't necessarily need proper off-road capabilities and a body-on-frame construction.
Hyundai's recent trend of offering N Line variants of their most popular models could eventually extend to the new Palisade, with the company testing the waters with the likes of the Kona N Line and Tucson N Line – both due in 2021.
The Korean car maker also gauged public interest with these pictures of a Palisade N earlier in 2020, publishing the images under the guise of an April Fool's post on Instagram – and the feedback was nothing but positive.
While an N Line is more of a styling exercise than a serious performance model, the popularity of an N Line variant could pave the way for a legitimate Palisade N.
Last year, Hyundai Australia told CarAdvice: "Hyundai President [of Research and Development] Mr Albert Biermann has previously stated that he would consider a broad range of products as suitable for N high performance development, across all model lines, including SUVs".
Mr Biermann was the head of BMW's M performance division, personally overseeing the development of the twin-turbo BMW E70 X5 M, before joining Hyundai as President.
Hyundai executives suggested a Tucson N was possible back in September 2020, with reportedly leaked internal documents further suggesting a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine has been earmarked for the performance SUV – likely borrowed from the related Hyundai Sonata N Line and US-market Kia Sorento.
"We've made no secret of our focus on building an N performance family. We will of course be studying the business case for any new N product should it become available," the Hyundai Australia spokesperson told CarAdvice at the time, when pushed about the potential for a Tucson N.
If a full-blown Palisade N did come to fruition, it's plausible the standard 217kW 3.8-litre petrol V6 engine could be swapped out for the 279kW 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 from the Genesis GV80 luxury SUV, which touched down on Australian shores in recent months.
"Everything's possible. We monitor the market very attentively. If we believe in that particular segment – for the SUV body type – it makes sense, then we can move very quickly", Hyundai's Head of Global Product Management Lorenz Glaab told media in late 2020 on the subject of a Tucson N.
While Hyundai has yet to hint at a Palisade N Line or high-performance Palisade N, there's little doubt the company is exploring the viability of such models.
Let us know what you think of a Hyundai Palisade N in the comments section below.