Hyundai hints first N Performance product to arrive in India within three years.
N Performance models offer sportier driving experience and get more power, like BMW's M cars.
N Line models also get sporty additions, without any power bump, like BMW's M Sport variants.
N Line likely to arrive in India first, possibly for the Venue or Tucson models.
When Hyundai had first announced that it was going to introduce a performance line of products, many enthusiasts were keen to see what the Korean carmaker could bring to the table. And now Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s Global R&D Head who also spearheads the N performance division, recently said that an N model could be introduced in India within the next three years, i.e., by 2022.
Currently, Hyundai has a range of two types of N badged products - N Performance cars and N Line variants. The N Performance models get more power and offer a sportier driving experience than the standard cars they are based on. The global N Performance car lineup includes the i30 N hot hatch, i30 N fastback (compact four-door coupe) and the Veloster N (2-door hatchback). All these cars are powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that develops up to 275PS of max power.
The N Line variants, meanwhile, sport cosmetic enhancements with some tweaks to the steering, suspension and brake setup for a sportier experience. Presently, Hyundai offers the N Line option for the i30, i30 Fastback and most recently the Tucson SUV. That said, other cars in Hyundai’s global lineup, including the new Venue sub-compact SUV, will be getting N badged variants at some point too.
Of the two, Hyundai is more likely to offer an N Line variant of one of the models sold in India, at least initially. A proper N performance model such as the i30 N seems unlikely as it might not be as popular since it would be priced in the range of say a Mini Cooper S (starting at Rs 34.2 lakh ex-showroom). Maybe a proper N Performance SUV could come to India in the future if Hyundai plans to introduce one globally.
Given how popular SUVs are and the fact that the segment is still growing, we may see Hyundai give the N Line treatment to something like the Venue, Creta or Tucson only. It makes sense because none of their rivals offer sportier variants in the country. If launched, the N Line model would be like a top-spec variant of these SUVs. Perhaps the next-gen i20 could also be introduced in India with an N variant.