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The Hyundai Tucson is a fantastic crossover SUV.  In our dealings with it, we found it to pick up where the old one left off with increased performance, refinement, comfort, and equipment.  But, it would seem there were some who may have been wanting more in the performance side of things – for those people, this is the Hyundai Tucson Sport, or Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDI Executive Sport in full.


Hyundai SA isn’t really sure if anyone wanted this really, with Stanley Adams, sales and operations director stating, “Hyundai Automotive South Africa is confident that the Tucson Sport will find many buyers who wants some extra “presence” on the road. “It was not really market research, but more of a gut feeling…”


But, here it is, a new ‘performance derivative’ of one of the most popular SUVs in the country.  So then, about that performance…  Unlike the also SA-specific i20 N-Sport, the Hyundai Tucson Sport actually gets a significant bump in performance.  The 1.6-litre turbo motor gets a retune that ups power from 130kW to 150kW, whilst torque takes a bump from 265Nm to 295Nm.  Power reaches the ground through the front wheels and a 6-speed manual gearbox only.


That extra poke must add up to a semi-decent bit of performance though, right?  We’d imagine so, but Hyundai SA hasn’t provided any performance stats – no 0-100km/h times, and no top speed – so we’re a bit lost as to what performance on the Hyundai Tucson Sport is really like.  It should be quicker than the standard model’s 9.2 second 0-100km/h sprint and 203km/h top speed.


To go with the remap, and following the same tradition as the ricetastic i20 N-Sport, the Hyundai Tucson Sport gets a new sporty bodykit – apparently imported from South Korea – and blacked out 19-inch alloy wheels, sourced locally from Tiger Wheel & Tyre.  What’s more is that the Hyundai Tucson Sport gets a quad-pipe, yes four of them, exhaust.


According to Mr. Adams, Hyundai SA “were able to create a Tucson Sport that is bold in a classy way, without being overly arrogant…” um, whatever you say, sir.  There’s no word on whether the suspension has been beefed up, or the brakes for that matter, which suggests the Tucson Sport may merely be a more luxurious, yet equally as shoddily developed version of the i20 N-Sport.


Based on the Executive specification, you’ll still get standard mod-cons like an 8-inch touch screen infotainment system, rear park assist with reverse camera, cruise control, automatic air-con, leather seats, and the standard raft of safety aids.


At R499 900 though, you’ll have to fork over an extra R50 000 for the Hyundai Tucson Sport compared to the standard 1.6TGDI Executive model.  That’s R50 000 for undisclosed performance improvements, ricey body embellishments, and 4 tailpipes that belong on a Golf R, not a school run crossover.  But, and to Hyundai’s credit this is impressive, the Hyundai Tucson Sport still comes standard with the brand’s 7-year/200 000 km warranty, roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km, and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan.


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