By on February 1, 2019

It’s a rumor that’s existed since the debut of Hyundai’s performance N division — the evential debut of a much hotter Tucson compact crossover to pair with N-badged compacts already heading to customers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Now, a report claims to have the inside scoop on the existence of just such a model. A Tucson boasting at least 340 horsepower is on the way, sources say.

These sources tell Britain’s Auto Express that an N-badged compact crossover will appear within two years, adding that Hyundai is “not interested in making also-ran cars with N badges on them in whatever class they compete.”

That means class-leading horsepower, which, in the European market, means at least 340 hp. An artist’s rendering shows what the current-gen model might look like when gussied up in N clothes. A new chin, side sills, and body-color wheel arches seem likely.

While the first N car on these shores is the Veloster, Europe sees its version of the Elantra GT, the i30, undergo the hot hatch treatment. We get a milder N Line variant, which replaces the Elantra GT Sport for 2019. Will Hyundai bring its Tucson N to America once the performance guys finish working it over?

It would be hard to see company brass making a case against it, as U.S. buyers can’t get enough of the Tucson. The model’s sales rose 24 percent to 142,299 units in 2018, making it the second best-selling nameplate in Hyundai’s stable. Expect to see it reach the No. 1 spot after the Santa Fe becomes a singular model.

Interestingly, the same sources tell Auto Express that the Tucson is only the next in a line of N vehicles, with one described as a “halo” and “brand-changer.” Speculation fuel, for sure.

[Image: Hyundai]

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