Perhaps the last thing anyone expects of the innocuous Hyundai Tucson crossover is actual off-road swagger, so it’s rather amusing to see this SEMA-bound 2016 Tucson festooned in rock-crawling regalia by Rockstar Performance Garage. Think of it as the antithesis of the slammed, Bismoto-modified, 700-hp Tucson “anti-crossover” that will also be on display at this year’s SEMA show.
With black paint, custom bumpers, smoked lights, skid plates, multiple LED bars and light “spikes,” and, of course, an upgraded sound system, the RPG Tucson looks like something Batman might buy his son for his sixteenth birthday. It rides six inches higher than the stock Tucson, with fenders modified to make room for the 32-inch Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 tires wrapped around KMC 17-inch “Bully” wheels. The suspension, meanwhile, gets new 2.5-inch adjustable coilovers and shocks from King Shocks.
Under the hood, new turbo plumbing, a high-flow exhaust and new intake and intercooler systems are among the changes made to the 1.6-liter turbo four. While Hyundai did not specify how much output has been increased as a result of these new bits, it’s safe to say that it produces somewhat more than the stock motor’s 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. As for its all-wheel drive system? No word on any changes to that, so don’t expect to see it creeping though Moab any time soon.