JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – More than 7500 third-generation Hyundai Tucsons were sold in South Africa in 13 months since its launch here in 2016 – a 16.5% share in its segment.
Now, Hyundai has never been an automaker to rest on its laurels, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the local marketing people elected to take the standard models one step further and create the Tucson Sport.
So now there’s a body kit for these SUV’s to go with a set of big black alloy wheel rims shod with low-profile tyres, and an aftermarket set of exhaust tail pipes.
“Other big reasons to create the Tucson Sport,” Hyundai said, “are that this compact SUV is already a very good looker in its standard guise and that its 150kW 1.6 turbocharged petrol engine delivers more than enough power to suit the sporty looks.”
Officially, on the specification sheet, this seventh version of Hyundai’s popular SUV is the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDI Executive Sport. “That means it has a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine that delivers 150kW and 295Nm and that it has the comprehensive Executive level of features found in other models in the range.”
Hyundai Automotive SA says it’s confident that the Tucson Sport will find many buyers looking for more “presence” on the road. Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive SA, asked why the decision was taken to dress up the Tucson, said: “It was not really market research, more of a gut feeling that comes from many years in the automotive business.
“We knew we had a most attractive SUV – sales figures prove that – but we were able to create a Tucson Sport that’s bold, in a classy way. It certainly has looks that draw a lot of attention.
“‘The 1.6 turbo engine also delivers more than enough power to suit the sporty looks.”
He also sees the price, R499 900, as very competitive.
EXTRA EXHAUST BITS
Anderson added: “We import the body kit – front, rear and side skirts – from Korea and the alloy wheel rims were chosen with the help of Tiger Wheel & Tyre exclusively for the Tucson Sport.
“Then we fitted a different exhaust system with four chromed pipes that audibly announce the sporty nature of this Tucson… and the result was a winner in terms of looks and performance.”
The 19″ black alloy rims and low-profile tyres also, Hyundai says, take the outstanding handling dynamics of the Tucson to an even higher level. They are also exclusive to the Tucson Sport – nobody can buy them off the shelf to fit to their own car.
The 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox with well-spaced ratios to get the power and torque to the road effectively through the front-wheel drive.
Standard Tucson Sport features include a 20cm screen infotainment system with satnav, Bluetooth telephony, music streaming and a CD player, USB and AUX music input with several settings for FM/AM radio reception.
It also displays a rear view from the reverse-parking camera.
Additional convenience features include cruise control, rain sensors for the auto screen wipers, automatic aircon, power-adjustable leather-clad seats, and multifunction controls on the steering-wheel.
Among the safety features in the Tucson Sport are stability control, anti-lock brakes with auto pressure distribution and a full set of driver, front passenger, side and curtain crash bags. The Tucson has earned a five-star safety rating according to the European New Car Assessment Programme.
The Tucson Sport’s recommended retail price of R499 900 include Hyundai’s industry-leading seven-year or 200 000km warranty, five years or 150 000km of roadside assistance and a five-year or 90 000km service plan.
Service intervals 15 000km.