It?s a rumour that has been swirling for a while now, but a high-ranking Hyundai executive has finally confirmed that the Korean automaker is indeed developing a high-performance version of its Tucson SUV, complete with an "N" badge plastered to its rump.

Byung Kwon Rhim, Hyundai's global head of sales, told Auto Express that the high-performance Tucson was "under development, and other models will come after that".

Of course, the new performance sub-brand, headed up by former BMW M boss Albert Biermann, has already launched its i30 N and Veloster N. But, according to the British publication, the fettled Tucson is not likely an appearance "for at least a year".

While the executive offered no more details about the project, Auto Express speculated that the SUV would use the 2,0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit from the i30 N, which makes 202 kW in its most extreme guise. Other obligatory tweaks would include suspension upgrades, steering fettling, the addition of various driving modes and beefier brakes.

Auto Express added that Biermann himself had last year stated he would "love" to develop a Tucson N.