Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is designed to feel like a petrol hot hatch
The Ioniq 5 N is the brand’s first electric performance car and gets a host of unique performance features
Dressed in the now-iconic Performance Blue, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N has been revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as the South Korean firm’s first electric hot hatchback.
Based on the standard Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Ioniq 5 N gets a myriad of performance and styling upgrades, with Hyundai claiming its latest model focuses on delivering “driving enjoyment”.
Key to this added excitement is the Ioniq 5 N’s powertrain; for starters, it gets a larger 84kWh battery than the standard 77kWh model, with Hyundai remaining tight-lipped regarding range figures for now. Like the unit fitted to the new Lotus Eletre, it does accept ultra-rapid charging at speeds of up to 350kW, though, which is enough for a 10-80% top-up at a compatible public chargepoint in just 18 minutes.
What we do know for now is that the hot Ioniq 5 features a dual-motor powertrain that produces a grand total of 641bhp. Hit the somewhat puerile-sounding ‘N Grin Boost’ button on the steering wheel and the sprint from 0-62mph will take just 3.4 seconds – faster than a Porsche Taycan GTS, as well as the recently-announced MG4 XPower. Top speed stands at 161mph.
However, unlike how most EVs accelerate in a relatively linear fashion, Hyundai has designed a new system for the Ioniq 5 N dubbed ‘N e-shift’, which is designed to replicate the sound and feel of a traditional petrol engine and gearbox.
In practice, this plays synthesised engine sounds through the car’s speaker systems, while also adjusting the power output in order to send jolts through the cabin to mimic the feeling of an upshift.
While some EVs have paddles on the back of the steering wheel to adjust the regenerative braking, those on the Ioniq 5 N can be used in the same way as a petrol-powered car to call in these simulated gearshifts. Of course, if this all sounds a bit kitschy to you, it can all be turned off, turning the Ioniq 5 N into a regular – albeit very fast – electric car.
That’s not to say the Ioniq 5 N doesn’t feature regenerative braking; Hyundai’s hottest EV gets an evolution of its ‘i-Pedal’ one-pedal driving software, dubbed ‘N-Pedal’. This works in tandem with the car’s upgraded 400mm front disc brakes and four-piston brake calipers and alone provides 0.6g of deceleration with the regenerative braking in its strongest setting.
All of this is designed to be used on track, alongside the 11-stage electronic limited-slip differential and N-Durance mode. The latter is designed to precondition the battery pack, depending on which drive mode you’re in, with ‘Sprint’ and ‘Endurance’ modes dialling up and back the power to help you go for longer at full throttle. A revised cooling system – aided by larger openings in the front bumper – plus a battery coolant chiller work together to keep everything at the optimum temperature.
If having fun is more important to you than lap times, the Ioniq 5 N gets yet another feature in the form of the ‘N Drift Optimiser’, which is designed to “maintain the drift angle by balancing multiple vehicle controls responding to real-time inputs”. Stomp on the throttle and the ‘Torque Kick Drift’ function aims to simulate a clutch kick which, in a petrol-powered car, would usually initiate oversteer.
The changes for the Ioniq 5 N aren’t just technical, however; as mentioned, Hyundai’s first electric hot hatch can be specified in its exclusive Performance Blue colour, while a redesigned bumper with larger openings helps aid airflow.
With a larger rear spoiler and more aggressive rear diffuser, the Ioniq 5 N is actually around 80mm longer than its more plebeian counterpart. It’s also 20mm lower and 50mm wider and sits on a set of model-specific 21-inch alloy wheels, wrapped in sticky Pirelli P-Zero rubber.
On the inside, the Ioniq 5 N gets plenty of upgrades including a pair of figure-hugging bucket seats featuring an illuminated ‘N’ logo below the headrest. As mentioned, the hot Ioniq 5 gets a variety of performance-oriented buttons on the steering wheel, while a black surround for the dual-screen infotainment system gives off a sportier vibe.
If you’re (N)-grinning at the idea of all this, you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get your hands on the Ioniq 5 N; we expect the new car to go on sale before the end of 2024. Pricing is yet to be announced, but we expect the hot Hyundai Ioniq 5 to start from just over £60,000 – in-line with its mechanical sibling, the Kia EV6 GT.
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