Road Test: Hyundai Tucson Turbo Executive Sport
Hyundai’s Tucson Turbo Sport is the most powerful Hyundai available locally. Sporting 150kW and 295Nm of torque, the kitted out van isn’t what we’d expect from Hyundai, at least not until recently. With N Versions popping up in Hyundai brochures, and Hyundai challenging GTi for the hot hatch crown, it’s no surprise that Tiguan now has this aggressive looking van to contend with.
Under the hood is the same engine found in the 130kW model but if you look closely one can find a Unichip under the hood. These units, supplied by tuning coming Dastek, are known to up power substantially, especially on turbo cars, and in this case, by 20kW. The Dastek unit helps give Tucson Turbo a feisty character and the engine can be revved to around 6000 rpm, gear after gear. The day after taking delivery of Tucson Turbo I hit one of Cape Town’s most entertaining roads, the R101 and decided to give Tucson a bit of a push. The brakes, faded a little, predictably, but other than that Tucson is fun to drive near the limit. The car understeers predictably but lift off the power and the rear rotates rather surprisingly well. The gearbox throw is just right and although the clutch is a tad heavy this is hardly noticeable when pushing on. The steering has two modes but I found no real point in changing to the heavier Sport Mode which in my mind adds no feel and just extra steering weight.
0-100 came up in a respectable 8.99 seconds, 0.2 faster than the standard car, so the extra 20kW definitely makes some difference in performance. The engine is responsive and torquey and the claimed fuel consumption figure of 8.9l/100 is entirely achievable with figures as low as 7.4l/100 achieved when practising restraint. This was often needed due to the cars raucous engine sound, turbo woosh and sporty feel.
That body kit is not going to be to everyone’s taste and one can definitely see that the kit was an “after the fact” concept rather than something created at inception. Still, judging from the street cred Tucson received it’s a hit. Every stop at a shop or mall, saw curious onlookers staring or giving a thumbs up. Other Tucson owners could hardly contain their excitement when laying eyes on the kitted out Korean. The quad exhausts are, again, not exactly a necessary add-on but bring with it a certain cool factor. Maybe it was just this specific car, but the pipes didn’t line up as neatly as I would have liked in the rear bumper. There is also a drone at just below cruising speeds, which isn’t intrusive but sensitive owners might protest.
For R499 000 there is nothing like this. You get good performance, on par with most bar Tiguan TSI and although not as stylish or refined, this is a fantastic alternative that will save you over R100 000 on a fully specced Tiguan. It also has a 6-speed manual gearbox. If you want to be the coolest dad on the block, this could be just the car for you.
Need to know:
- Price – R499 900
- Power – 150kw @5500rpm
- Torque – 295Nm @4500rpm
- 0-100km/h – 8.99s
- Top Speed – 201km/h
- Fuel Consumption – 8.9l/100
- Service Plan: Tucson comes with a five-year/150 000km (plus two-year/50 000km drivetrain) warranty and five-year/90 000km service plan.